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Full text of "The crime against Kansas. Speech of Hon. Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts. In the Senate of the United States, May 19, 1856"

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THE CRIME AGAINST KANSAS. 



Hi 

i 



SPEECH 



OF 



HON. CHARLES SUMNER, 



OF MASSACHUSETTS. 



IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, MAT 19, 1856. 



MONDAY, May 19, 1S56. 

Mr. President : You are now called to re- 
dress a great transgression. Seldom in the 
history of nations has such a question been 
presented. Tariffs, army bills, navy bills, land 
bills, are important, and justly occupy your 
care ; but these all belong to the course of 
ordinary legislation. As means and instru- 
ments only, they are necessarily subordinate 
to the conservation of government itself. 
Grant them or deny them, in greater or less 
degree, and you will inflict no shock. The 
machinery of government will continue to 
move. The State will not cease to exist. Far 
otherwise is it with the eminent question now 
before you, involving, as it does, liberty in a 
broad territory, and also involving the peace 
of the whole country with our good name in 
history for evermore. 

Take down your map, sir, and you will find 
that the territory of Kansas, more than any 
other region, occupies the middle spot of 
North America, equally distant from the At- 
lantic on the east, and the Pacific on the west ; 
from the frozen waters of Hudson's Bay on 
the north, and the tepid gulf stream on the 
south, constituting the precise territorial centre 
of the whole vast continent. To such advan- 
tage of situation, on the very highway between 
two oceans, are added a soil of unsurpassed 
richness, and a fascinating, undulating beauty 
of surface, with a health-giving climate, cal- 
culated to nurture a powerful and generous 
people, worthy to be a central pivot of Ame- 
rican institutions. 

A few short months only have passed since 
this spacious mediterranean country was open 
only to the savage, who ran wild in its woods 
and prairies ; and now it has already drawn 
to its bosom a population of freemen larger 
than Athens crowded within her historic 
;- r ut.'<, when her sons, under Miltiades, won 
liberty for mankind on the field of Marathon ; 



more than Sparta contained when she ruled 
Greece, and sent forth her devoted children, 
quickened by a mother's benediction, to return 
with their shields or on them; more than 
Rome gathered on her seven hills, when, 
under her kings, she commenced that sove- 
reign sway, which afterwards embraced the 
whole earth ; more than London held, when, 
on the fields of Crecy and Agincourt, the 
English banner was carried victoriously over 
the chivalrous hosts of France. 

Against this territory, thus fortunate in 
position and population, a crime has been com- 
mitted, which is without example in the 
records of the past. Not in plundering pro- 
vinces, nor in the cruelties of selfish gov- 
ernors will you find its parallel ; and yet there 
is an ancient instance, which may show at 
least the path of justice. In the terrible im- 
peachment by which the great Roman Orator 
has blasted through all time the name of 
Verres, amidst charges of robbery and sacri- 
lege, the enormity which most aroused the 
iudignant voice of his accuser, and which still 
stands forth with strongest distinctness, ar- 
resting the sympathetic indignation of all who 
read the story, is, that away in Sicily he had 
scourged a citizen of Rome — that the cry — 
" I am a Roman citizen," had been interposed 
in vain against the lash of the tyrant governor. 
Other charges were, that he had carried away 
productions of art, and that he had violated 
the sacred shrines. 

It was in the presence of the Roman Senate 
that this arraignment proceeded; in a temple 
of the Forum, amidst crowds — such as no 
orator had ever before drawn together — 
thronging the porticoes and colonnades, even 
clinging to the house-tops and neighboring 
slopes — and under the anxious gaze of witnes- 
ses summoned from the scene of crime. But 
an audience grander far — of higher dignity — 
of more various people, and of wider intolli- 



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2 



gence — the countless multitude of succeeding 
generations, in every land where eloquence 
has been studied or where the Eoman name 
has been recognized — has listened to the ac- 
cusation, and throbbed with condemnation of 
the criminal. 

Sir, speaking in an age of light, and in a 
land of constitutional liberty, where the safe- 
guards of elections are justly placed among 
the highest triumphs of civilization, I fearless- 
ly assert that the wrongs of much abused 
Sicily, thus memorable in history, were small 
by the side of the wrongs of Kansas, where 
the Tery shrines of popular institutions, more 
s-aered than any heathen altar, have been 
desecrated; where the ballot-box, more pre- 
eious than any work, in ivory or marble, from 
the cunning hand of art, has been plundered ; 
and where the cry, " I am an American citi- 
zen," has been interposed in vain against 
outrage of every kind, even upon life itself. 
Are you against sacrilege ? I present it for 
your execration. Are you against robbery '. 
I hold it up to your' scorn. Are you for the 
protection of American citizens \ I show you 
how their dearest rights have been cloven 
down, while a tyrannical usurpation has sought 
to install itself on their very necks ! 

But the wickedness which I now begin to 
expose is immeasurably aggravated by the 
motive which prompted it. Not in any com- 
mon lust for power did this uncommon tragedy 
have its origin. It is the rape of a virgin ter- 
ritory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of 
slavery; and it may be clearly traced to a 
depraved longing for a new slave State, the 
hideous offspring of such a crime, in the hope 
of adding to the power of slavery in the 
national government. Yes, sir; when the 
whole world, alike Christian and Turk, is 
rising up to condemn this wrong, and to make 
it a hissing to the nations, here in our repub- 
lic, force, aye, sir, FORCE — has been openly 
employed in compelling Kansas to the pollu- 
tion of slavery, all for the sake of political 
power. There is a simple fact, which you 
will vainly attempt to deny, but which in 
itself presents an essential wickedness that 
makes other public crimes seem like public 
virtues. 

But this enormity, vast beyond comparison, 
9wells to dimensions of wickedness which the 
imagination toils in vain to grasp, when it is 
understood that for this purpose are hazarded 
the horrors of intestine feud, not only in this 
distant territory, but everywhere throughout 
the country. Already the muster has begun. 
The strife is no longer local, but national. 
Even now, while I speak, portents hang on all 
the arches of the horizon, threatening to 
darken the broad land, which already yawns 
with the mutterings of civil war. 

The fury of the propagandists of slavery, and 



the calm determination of their opponents, are 
now diffused from the distant territory over 
wide-spread communities, and the whole coun- 
try, in all its extent — marshalling hostile divi- 
sions, and foreshadowing a strife, which, un- 
less happily averted by the triumph of Free- 
dom, will become war — fratricidal, parricidal 
war — with an accumulated wickedness beyond 
the wickedness of any war in human annals; 
justly provoking the avenging judgment of 
Providence and the avenging pen of history, 
and constituting a strife, in the language of 
the ancient writer, more than foreign, more 
than social, more than civil; but something 
compounded of all these strifes, and in itself 
more than war; sed potim commune quoddam 
ex omnibus et plus quam helium. 

Such is the crime which you are to judge. 
But the criminal also must be dragged into 
day, that you may see and measure the power 
by which all this wrong is sustained. From 
no common source eoidd it proceed. In its 
perpetration was needed a spirit of vaulting 
ambition which would hesitate at nothing; a 
hardihood of purpose which was insensible to 
the judgment of mankind; a madness for 
Blavery which should disregard the Constitu- 
tion, the laws, and all the great examples of 
our history ; also a consciousness of power 
such as comes from the hahit of power ; a 
combination of energies found only in a hun- 
dred arms directed by a hundred eyes ; a con- 
trol of public opinion, through venal pens and 
a prostituted press ; an ability to subsidize 
crowds hi every vocation of life — the politi- 
cian with his local importance, the lawyer 
with his subtle tongue, and even the authority 
of the judge on the bench ; and a familiar use 
of men in places high and low, so that none, 
from the President to the lowest border post- 
master, should decline to be its tool ; all these 
things and more were needed; and they were 
found in the slave power of our republic. 
There, sir, stands the criminal — all unmasked 
before you — heartless, grasping, and tyranni- 
cal — -with an audacity beyond that of Verres, 
a subtlety beyond that of Machiavel, a mean- 
ness beyond that of Bacon, and an ability be- 
yond that of Hastings. Justice to Kansas can 
be secured only by the prostration of this in- 
fluence; for this is the power behind — greater 
than any President — which succors and sus- 
tains the crime. Nay, the proceedings I now 
arraign derive their fearful consequence only 
from this connection. 

In now opening this great matter, I am not 
insensible to the austere demands of the occa- 
sion : but the dependence of the crime against 
Kansas upon theslave power i> so peculiar ami 
important, that I trust to be pardoned while I 
impress it by an illustration, which to some 
may seem trivial. It is related in Northern 
mythology, that the god of Force, visiting an 



enchanted region, was challenged by his royal 
entertainer to what seemed a humble feat 
of strength, merely, sir, to lift a cat from 
the ground. The god smiled at thechallenge, 
and, calmly placing his hand under the belly 
of the animal, with superhuman strength, 
strove, while the hack of the feline monster 
arched far upwards, even beyond reach, and 
one paw actually forsook the earth, until 
at last the discomfited divinity desisted ; but 
he was little surprised at his defeat, when he 
learned that this creature, which seemed to be 
a cat and nothing more, was not merely a 
cat, but that it belonged to and was a part of 
the great Terrestrial Serpent which, in its 
innumerable folds, encircled the whole globe. 
Even so the creature whose paws are now 
fastened upon Kansas, whatever it may seem 
to be, constitutes in reality a part of the slave 
power, which, with loathsome folds, is now 
coiled about the whole land. Thus do I 
expose the extent of the present contest, where 
we encounter not merely local resistance, but 
also the unconquered, sustaining arm behind. 
But out of the vastness of the crime attempted, 
with all its woe and shame, I derive a well- 
founded assurance of a commensurate vastness 
of effort against it, by the aroused masses of 
the country, determined, not only to vindicate 
right against wrong, but to redeem the Repub- 
lic from the thraldom of that oligarchy which 
prompts, directs, and concentrates the distant 
wrong. 

Such is the crime, and such the criminal, 
which it is my duty in this debate to expose, 
and, by the blessing of God, this duty shall be 
done completely to the end. But this will not 
be enough. The apologies, which, with strange 
hardihood, have been offered for the crime, 
must be brushed away, so that it shall stand 
forth, without a single rag, or fig-leaf, to cover 
its vileness. And, finally, the true remedy 
must be shown. The subject is complex in its 
relations as it is transcendent in importance; 
and yet, if I am honored by your attention, I 
hope to exhibit it clearly in all its parts, while 
I conduct you to the inevitable conclusion, 
that Kansas must be admitted at once, with 
her present constitution, as a State of this 
Union, and give a new star to the blue field of 
our national flag. 

And here I derive satisfaction from the 
thought, that the cause is so strong in itself as 
to bear even the infirmities of its advocates ; 
nor can it require anything beyond that sim- 
plicity of treatment and moderation of manner 
which I desire to cultivate. Its true charac- 
ter is such, that, like Hercules, it will conquer 
just so soon as it is recognized. 

My task will be divided under three different 
heads ; first, the Ceime against Kansas, in its 
origin and extent; secondly, the Apologies 
foe the Crime ; and thirdly, the true Remedy. 



But, before entering upon the argument, I 
must say something of a general character, 
particularly in response to what has fallen 
from Senators who have raised themselves to 
eminence on this floor in championship of hu- 
man wrongs; I mean the Senator from South 
Carolina, [Mr. Butler,] and the Senator from 
Illinois, [Mr. Douglas,] who, though unlike as 
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, yet, like this 
couple, sally forth together in the same cause. 
The Senator from South Carolina has read 
many books of chivalry, and believes himself 
a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor 
and courage. Of course he has chosen a mis- 
tress to whom he has made his vows, and 
who, though ugly to others, is always lovely 
to him ; though polluted in the sight of the 
world, is chaste in his sight — I mean the har- 
lot, Slavery. For her, his tongue is always 
profuse in words. Let her be impeached in 
character, or any proposition made to shut her 
out from the extension of her wantonness, and 
no extravagance of manner or hardihood of 
assertion is then too great for this Senator. 
The frenzy of Don Quixote, in behalf of his 
wench Dulcinea del Toboso, is all surpassed. 
The asserted rights of Slavery, which shock 
equality of all kinds, are cloaked by a fantastic 
claim of equality. If the slave States cannot 
enjoy what, in mockery of the great fathers of 
the Republic, he misnames equality under the 
Constitution — in other words, the full power 
in the National Territories to compel fellow- 
men to unpaid toil, to separate husband and 
wife, and to sell little children at the auction- 
block — then, sir, the chivalric Senator will 
conduct the State of South Carolina out of the 
Union! Heroic knight! Exalted Senator! 
A second Moses come for a second exodus ! 

But not content with this poor menace, 
which we have been twice told was " meas- 
ured," the Senator, in the unrestrained chiv- 
alry of his nature, has undertaken to apply 
opprobrious words to those who differ from 
him on this floor. He calls them " sectional 
and fanatical ;" and opposition to the usurpa- 
tion in Kansas, he denounces as " an uncalcu- 
lating fanaticism." To be sure, these charges 
lack all grace of originality, and all sentiment 
of truth ; but the adventurous Senator does 
not hesitate. He is the uncompromising, un- 
blushing representative on this floor of a fla- 
grant sectionalism, which now domineers over 
the Republic, and yet with a ludicrous igno- 
rance of his own position — unable to see him- 
self as others see him — or with an effrontery 
which even his white head ought not to pro- 
tect from rebuke, he applies to those here who 
resist his sectionalism the very epithet which 
designates himself. The men who strive to 
bring back the Government to its original 
policy, when Freedom and not Slavery was 
national, while Slavery and not Freedom was 



sectional, he arraigns as sectional. This will 
not do. It involves too great a perversion of 
terms. I tell that Senator, that it is to him- 
self, and to the " organization " of which he is 
the " committed advocate," that this epithet 
belongs. I now fasten it upon them. For 
myself, I care little for names ; but since the 
question has been raised here, I affirm that the 
Republican party of the Union is in no just 
sense sectional, but, more than any other party, 
national; and that it now goes forth to dis- 
lodge from the high places of the Government 
the tyrannical sectionalism of which the Sen- 
ator from South Carolina is one of the mad- 
dest zealots. 

To the charge of fanaticism I also reply. 
Sir, fanaticism is found in an enthusiasm or 
exaggeration of opinions, particularly on reli- 
gious subjects ; but there may be a fanaticism 
for evil as well as for good. Now, I will not 
deny, that there are persons among us loving 
Liberty too well for their personal good, in a 
selfish generation. Such there may be, and, 
for the sake of their example, would that there 
were more ! In calling them " fanatics," you 
cast contumely upon the noble army of mar- 
tyrs, from the earliest day down to this hour; 
upon the ' great tribunes of human rights, by 
whom life, liberty, and happiness, on earth, 
have been secured ; upon 'the long line of de- 
voted patriots, who, throughout history, have 
truly loved their country, and, upon all, who, 
in noble aspirations for the general good, and 
in forgetfulness of self, have stood out before 
their age, and gathered into their generous 
bosoms the shafts of tyranny and wrong, in 
order to make a pathway for Truth. You dis- 
credit Luther, when alone he nailed his arti- 
cles to the door of the church at Wittenberg, 
and then, to the imperial demand that he 
should retract, firmly replied, "Here I stand; 
I cannot do otherwise, so help me God !" You 
discredit Hampden, when alone he refused to 
pay the few shillings of ship-money, and shook 
the throne of Charles I. ; you discredit Milton, 
when, amidst the corruptions of a heartless 
Court, he lived on, the lofty friend of Liberty, 
above question or suspicion; you disci-edit 
Russell and Sidney, when, for the sake of their 
country, they calmly turned from family and 
friends, to tread the narrow steps of the scaf- 
fold ; you discredit the early founders of 
American institutions, who preferred the hard- 
ships of a wilderness, surrounded by a savage 
foe, to injustice on beds of ease ; you discredit 
our later fathers, who, few in numbers and 
weak in resources, yet strong in their cause, 
did not hesitate to brave the mighty power of 
England, already encircling the globe with her 
morning drum-beats. Yes, sir, of such are 
the fanatics of history, according to the Sena- 
tor. But I tell that Senator, that there are 
characters badly eminent, of whose fanaticism 



there can be no question. Such were the an- 
cient Egyptians, who worshipped divinities in 
brutish forms ; the Druids, who darkened the 
forests of oak, in which they lived, by sacri- 
fices of blood ; the Mexicans, who surrendered 
countless victims to the propitiation of their 
obscene idols ; the Spaniards, who, under 
Alva, sought to force the Inquisition upon 
Holland, by a tyranny kindred to that now 
employed to force Slavery upon Kansas ; and 
such were the Algerines, when in solemn con- 
clave, after listening to a speech not unlike 
that of the Senator from South Carolina, they 
resolved to continue the slavery of white 
Christians, and to extend it to the countrymen 
of Washington ! Aye, sir, extend it ! And in 
this same dreary catalogue, faithful history 
must record all who now, in an enlightened 
age, and in a land of boasted Freedom, stand 
up, in perversion of the Constitution, and in 
denial of immortal truth, to fasten a new 
shackle upon their fellow-man. If the Sena- 
tor wishes to see fanatics, let him look round 
among Ins own associates; let him look at 
himself. 

But I have not done with the Senator. 
There is another matter regarded by him of 
such consequence, that be interpolated it into 
the speech of the Senator from New Hampshire, 
[Mr. Hale,] and also announced that he had 
prepared himself with it, to take in his pocket 
all the way to Boston, when he expected to 
address the people of that community. On 
this account, and for the sake of truth, I stop 
tor one moment, and tread it to the earth. 
The North, according to the Senator, was 
engaged in the slave trade, and helped to intro- 
duce slaves into the Southern States; and this 
undeniable fact he proposed to establish by 
statistics, in stating which his errors surpassed 
his sentences in Dumber. But I let these pa.ss 
for the present, that I may deal with his argu- 
ment. Pray, sir, is the acknowledged turpi- 
tude of a departed generation to become an 
example for us? And yet the suggestion of 
the Senator, if entitled to any consideration in 
this discussion, must have this extent. I join 
my friend from New Hampshire in thanking 
the Senator from South Carolina for adducing 
this instance; for it gives me an opportunity to 
say, that the Northern merchants, with homes 
in Boston, Bristol, Newport, New York, and 
Philadelphia, who catered tor Slavery during 
the years of the slave trade, are the lineal pro- 
genitors of the Northern men, with homes in 
these places, who lend themselves to Slavery 
in our day ; and especially that all, whether 
North or South, who take part, directly or 
indirectly, in the conspiracy against Kansas, do 
but continue the work of the slave-traders, 
which you condemn. It is true, too true, 
alas! that our fathers were engaged in this 
traffic ; but that is no apology for it. And in 



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repelling the authority of this example, I repel 
also the trite argument founded on the earlier 
example of England. It is true that our 
mother country, at the peace of Utrecht, 
extorted from Spain the Assiento Contract, 
securing the monopoly of the slave trade with 
the Spanish Colonies, as the whole price of all 
the blood of great victories; that she higgled 
at Aix-la-Chapelle for another lease of this 
exclusive traffic ; and again, at the treaty of 
Madrid, clung to the wretched piracy. It is 
true, that in this spirit the power of the mother 
country was prostituted to the same base ends 
in her American Colonies, against indignant 
protests from our fathers. All these things 
now rise up in judgment against her. Let us 
not follow the Senator from South Carolina to 
do the very evil to-day, which in another gene- 
ration we condemn. 

As the Senator from South Carolina is the 
Don Quixote, the Senator from Illinois [Mr. 
Dodglas] is the squire of Slavery, its very 
Sancho Panza, ready to do all its humiliating 
offices. This Senator, in his labored address, 
vindicating his labored report — piling one mass 
of elaborate error upon another mass — con- 
strained himself, as you will remember, to 
unfamiliar decencies of speech. Of that address 
I have nothing to say at this moment, though 
before I sit down I shall show something of its 
fallacies. But I go back now to an earlier 
occasion, when, true to his native impulses, he 
threw into this discussion, "for a charm of 
powerful trouble, 1 ' personalities most discre- 
ditable to this body. I will not stop to repel 
the imputations which he cast upon myself; 
but I mention them to remind you of the 
" sweltered venom sleeping got," which, with 
other poisoned ingredients, he cast into the 
cauldron of this debate. Of other things I 
speak. Standing on this floor, the Senator 
issued his rescript, requiring submission to the 
Usurped Power of Kansas ; and this was 
accompanied by a manner — all his own — such 
as befits the tyrannical threat. Very well. 
Let the Senator try. I tell him now that he 
cannot enforce any such submission. The 
Senator, with the Slave Power at his back, is 
strong ; but he is not strong enough for this 
purpose. He is bold. He shrinks from noth- 
ing. Like Danton, he may cry, "Vaudace! 
I'audacef toujours VaudaceV but even his 
audacity cannot compass this work. The 
Senator copies the British officer, who, with 
boastful swagger, said that with the hilt of his 
eword he would cram the " stamps " down the 
throats of the American people, and he will 
meet a similar failure. He may convulse this 
country with civil feud. Like the ancient 
madman, he may set fire to this vast Temple 
of Constitutional Liberty, grander than Ephe- 
sian dome ; but he cannot enforce obedience 
to that tyrannical Usurpation. 



The Senator dreams that he can subdue the 
North. He disclaims the open threat, but his 
conduct still implies it. How little that 
Senator knows himself, or the strength of the 
cause which he persecutes ! He is but a mortal 
man; against him is an immortal principle. 
With finite power he wrestles with the infinite, 
and lie must fall. Against him are stronger 
battalions than any marshaled by mortal arm 
— the inborn, ineradicable, invincible senti- 
ments of the human heart; against him is 
nature in all her subtle forces ; against him is 
God. Let him try to snbdue these. 

But I pass from these things, which, though 
belonging to the very heart of the discussion, 
are yet preliminary in character, and press at 
once to the main question. 

1. It belongs to me now, in the first place, 
to expose the Crime aoaixst Kansas, in its 
origin and extent. Logically, this is the 
beginning of the argument. I say Crime, and 
deliberately adopt this strongest term, as bet- 
ter than any other denoting the consummate 
transgression. I would go further, if language 
could further go. It is the Crime of Crimes 
— surpassing far the old crimen majestatis, 
pursued with vengeance by the laws of Rome, 
and containing all the crimes, as the greater 
contains the less. I do not go too far, when I 
call it the Crime against Nature, from which 
the soul recoils, and which language refuses to 
describe. To lay bare this enormity, I now 
proceed. The whole subject has already be- 
come a twice-told tale, and its renewed recital 
will be a renewal of its sorrow and shame ; 
but I shall not hesitate to enter upon it. 
The occasion requires it from the beginning. 

It has been well remarked by a distinguished 
historian of our country, that, at the Itfcuriel 
touch of the Missouri discussion, the slave in- 
terest hitherto hardly recognized as a distinct 
element in our system, started up portentous and 
dilated, with threats and assumptions, which 
are the origin of our existing national politics. 
This was in 1820. The discussion ended with 
the admission of Missouri as a slaveholding 
State, and the prohibition of Slavery in all 
the remaining territory west of the Missis- 
sippi, and north of 36° 30', leaving the condi- 
tion of other territories south of this line, or 
subsequently acquired, untouched by the 
arrangement. Here was a solemn act of 
legislation, called at the time a compromise, a 
covenant, a compact, first brought forward in 
this body by a slaveholder — vindicated by 
slaveholders in debate — finally sanctioned by 
slaveholding votes — also upheld at the time 
by the essential approbation of a slaveholding 
President, James Monroe, and his Cabinet, of 
whom a majority were slaveholders, including 
Mr. Calhoun himself; and this compromise 
was made the condition of the admission of 



6 



Missouri, without which that State could not 
have heen received into the Union. The bar- 
gain was simple, and was applicable, of course, 
only to the territory named. Leaving all the 
other territory to await the judgment of 
another generation, the South said to the 
North, Conquer your prejudices so far as to 
admit Missouri as a slave State, and, in consi- 
deration of this much-coveted boon, slavery 
shall be prohibited forever in all the remain- 
ing Louisiana Territory above 36° 30' ; and 
the North yielded. 

In total disregard of history, the President, 
in his annual message, has told us that this 
compromise " was reluctantly acquiesced in by 
the Southern States." Just the contrary is 
true. It was the work of slaveholders, and 
was crowded by their concurring votes upon 
a reluctant North. At the time it was hailed 
by slaveholders as a vicotry. Charles Pinek- 
ney, of South Carolina, in an oft-quoted let- 
ter, written at three o'clock on the night of 
its passage, says, " It is considered here by the 
slaveholding States as a great triumph." At 
the North it was accepted as a defeat, and the 
friends of Freedom overywhere throughout 
the country bowed their heads with mortifi- 
cation. But little did they know the com- 
pleteness of their disaster. Little did they 
dream that the prohibition of Slavery in the 
Territory, -which was stipulated as the price 
of their fatal capitulation, would also at the very 
moment of its maturity he wrested from them. 

Time passed, and it became necessary to pro- 
vide for this Territory an organized Govern- 
ment. Suddenly, without notice in the public 
press, or the prayer of a single petition, or 
one word of public recommendation from the 
President — after an acquiescence of thirty- 
three years, and the irreclaimable possession 
by the South of its special share under this 
compromise — in violation of every obligation of 
honor, compact, and good neighborhood — and 
in contemptuous disregard of the out-gushing 
sentiments of an aroused North, this time- 
honored prohibition, in itself a Landmark of 
Freedom, was overturned, and the vast region 
now known as Kansas and Nebraska was 
opened to Slavery. It was natural that a 
measure thus repugnant in character should 
be pressed by arguments mutually repugnant. 
It was urged on two principal reasons, so op- 
posite and inconsistent as to slap each other 
in the face — one being that, by the repeal of 
the prohibition, the Territory would be left 
open to the entry of slaveholders with their 
slaves, without hindrance; and the other 
being, that the people would be left absolutely 
free to determine the question for themselves, 
and to prohibit the entry of slaveholders with 
their slaves, if they should think best. With 
some, the apology was the alleged rights of 
slaveholders ; with others, it was the alleged 



rights of the people. "With some, it was 
openly the extension of Slavery; and with 
others, it was openly the establishment 
of Freedom, under the guise of Popular 
Sovereignty. Of coarse, the measure, thus 
upheld in defiance of reason, was carried 
through Congress in defiance of all the secu- 
rities of legislation : and I mention these 
things that you may see in what foulness the 
present crime was engendered. 

It was carried, first, by whipping in to its 
support, through Executive inflnence and 
patronage, men who acted against their own 
declared judgment and the known will of their 
constituents. Secondly, by foisting out of place, 
both in the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives, important business, long pending, and 
usurping its room. Thirdly, by trampling 
underfoot the rules of the House of Represen- 
tatives, always before the safeguard of the 
minority. And Fourthly, by driving it to a 
close during the very session in which it origi- 
nated, so that it might not be arrested by the 
indignant voice of the People. Such are some 
of the means by which this snap-judgment 
was obtained. If the clear will of the People 
had not been disregarded, it could not have 
I tassed. If the government had not nefariously 
interposed its influence, it could not have 
passed. If it had been left to its natural place 
in the order of business, it could not have 
passed. If the rules of the House and the 
rights of the minority had not been violated, 
it could not have passed. If it had been al- 
lowed to go over to another Congress, when 
the People might be heard, it would have 
ended ; and then the Crime we now deplore, 
would have been without its first seminal life. 

Mr. President, I mean to keep absolutely 
within the limits of parliamentary propriety. 
I make no personal imputations; but only 
with frankness, such as belongs to the occa- 
sion and my own character, describe a great 
historical act, which is now enrolled in the 
Capitol. Sir, the Nebraska Bill was in every 
respect a swindle. It was a swindle by the 
South of the North. It was, on the part of 
those who had already completely enjoyed 
their share of the Missouri Compromise, a 
swindle of those whose share was yet abso- 
lutely untouched ; and the plea of unconstitu- 
tionality set up — like the plea of usury after 
the borrowed money has been enjoyed — did 
not make it less a swindle. Urged as a Bill of 
Peace, it was a swindle of the whole country. 
Urged as opening the doors to slave-masters 
with their slaves, it was a swindle of the as- 
serted doctrine of Popular Sovereignty. Urged 
as sanctioning Popular Sovereignty, it was a 
swindle of the asserted rights of slave-masters. 
It was a swindle of a broad territory, thus 
cheated of protection against Slavery. It was 
a swindle of a great cause, early espoused by 



Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson, sur- 
rounded by the best fifttherg of the Republic. 
Sir, it was a swindle of God-given inalienable 
Rights. Turn it over; look at it on all sides, 
and it is everywhere a swindle; and, it' the 
word I now employ has not the authority of 
classical usage, it has, on this occasion, the 
indubitable authority of fitness. No other 
word will adequately express the mingled 
meanness and wickedness of the cheat. 

Its character was still further apparent in 
the general structure of the bill. Amidst 
overflowing professions of regard for the sov- 
ereignty of the People in the Territory, they 
were despoiled of every essential privilege of 
sovereignty. They were not allowed to choose 
their Governor, Secretary, Chief Justice, As- 
sociate Justices, Attorney, or Marshal — all of 
whom are sent from Washington ; nor were 
they allowed to regulate the salaries of any of 
these functionaries, or the daily allowance of 
the legislative body, or even the pay of the 
clerks and doorkeepers; but they were left 
free to adopt Slavery. And this was called 
Popular Sovereignty! Time does not allow, 
nor does the occasion require, that I should 
stop to dwell on this transparent device to 
cover a transcendent wrong. Suffice it to say, 
that Slavery is in itself an arrogant denial of 
Human Rights, and by no human reason can 
the power to establish such a wrong be placed 
among the attributes of any just sovereignty. 
In refusing it such a place, I do not deny 
popular rights, but uphold them; I do not 
restrain popular rights, but extend them. 
And, sir, to this conclusion you must yet come, 
unless deaf, not only to the admonitions of 
political justice, but also to the genius of our 
own Constitution, under which, when proper- 
ly interpreted, no valid claim for Slavery can 
be set up anywhere in the National territory. 
The Senator from Michigan [Mr. Cass] may 
say, in response to the Senator from Missis- 
sippi, [Mr. Brown] that Slavery cannot go 
into the Territory under the Constitution, 
without legislative introduction ; and permit 
me to add, in response to both, that Slavery 
cannot go there at all. Nothing can come out 
of nothing ; and there is absolutely nothing in 
the Constitution out of which Slavery can be 
derived, while there are provisions, which, 
when properly interpreted, make its existence 
anywhere within the exclusive national juris- 
diction impossible. 

The offensive provision in the bill was 
in its form a legislative anomaly, utterly want- 
ing the natural directness and simplicity of an 
honest transaction. It did not undertake 
openly to repeal the old Prohibition of Slavery, 
but seemed to mince the matter, as if consci- 
ous of the swindle. It said that this Prohibi- 
tion, "being inconsistent with the principle 
of non-intervention by Congress with Slavery 



in the States and Territories, as recognized by 
the legislation of 1850, commonly called the 
Compromise Measures, is hereby declared in- 
operative and void." Thus, with insidious 
ostentation, was it pretended that an act, vio- 
lating the greatest compromise of our legisla- 
tive history, and setting loose the foundations 
of all compromise, was derived out of a com- 
promise. Then followed in the Bill the fur- 
ther declaration, which is entirely without pre- 
cedent, and which has been aptly called, " a 
stump speech in its bell}'," namely : "it being 
the true intent and meaning of this act, not to 
legislate Slavery into any Territory or State, 
nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the 
people thereof perfectly free to form and regu- 
late their domestic institutions in their own 
way, subject only to the Constitution of the 
United States." Here were smooth words, 
such as belong to a cunning tongue enlisted in 
a bad cause. But whatever may have been 
their various hidden meanings, this at least 
was evident, that, by their effect, the Congres- 
sional Prohibition of Slavery, which had al- 
ways been regarded as a seven-fold shield, cov- 
ering the whole Louisiana Territory north of 
36° 30', was now removed, while a principle 
was declared, which would render the supple- 
mentary Prohibition of Slavery in Minnesota, 
Oregon, and Washington, " inoperative and 
void," and thus open to Slavery all these vast 
regions, now the rude cradles of mighty States. 
Here you see the magnitude of the mischief 
contemplated. But my purpose now is with 
the Crime against Kansas, and I shall not stop 
to expose the conspiracy beyond. 

Mr. President, men are wisely presumed to 
intend the natural consequences of their con- 
duct, and to seek what their acts seem to pro- 
mote. Now, the Nebraska Bill, on its very 
face, openly cleared the way for Slavery, and 
it is not wrong to presume that its originators* 
intended the natural consequences of such an 
act, and sought in this way to extend Slavery. 
Of course, they did. And this is the first stage 
in the crime against Kansas. 

But this was speedily followed by other de- 
velopments. The bare-faced scheme was soon 
whispered, that Kansas must be a Slave State. 
In conformity with this idea was the govern- 
ment of this unhappy territory organized in all 
its departments; and thus did the President, 
by whose complicity the Prohibition of Slavery 
had been overthrown, lend himself to a new 
complicity — giving to the conspirators a lease 
of connivance, amounting even to copartner- 
ship. The Governor, Secretary, Chief Justice, 
Associate Justices, Attorney, and Marshal, 
with a whole caucus of other stipendaries, no- 
minated by the President and confirmed by 
the Senate, were all commended as friendly 
to Slavery. No man, with the sentiments 
of Washington, or Jeff'ersyn, or Franklin, 



8 



found any favor ; nor is it too much to 
say, that, had these great patriots once more 
come among us, not one of them, with his 
recorded unretracted opinions on Slavery, 
could have been nominated by the President or 
confirmed by the Senate for any post in that 
territory. With such auspices the conspiracy 
proceeded. Even in advance of the Nebraska 
Bill, secret societies were organized in Missouri, 
ostensibly to protect her institutions, and after- 
wards, under the name of "Self-Defensive As- 
sociations," and of " Blue Lodges," these were 
multiplied throughout the western counties of 
that State, before any counter-movement from 
the Xorth. It was confidently anticipated, that 
by the activity of these societies, and the inte- 
rest of slaveholders everywhere, with the ad- 
vantages derived from the neighborhood of 
Missouri, and the influence of the Territorial 
Government, Slavery might be introduced into 
Kansas, quietly but surely, without arousing 
a conflict — that the crocodile egg might be 
stealthily dropped in the sun-burnt soil, there 
to be hatched unobserved until it sent forth its 
reptile monster. 

But the conspiracy was unexpectedly balked. 
The debate which convulsed Congress, had 
stirred the whole country. Attention from all 
sides was directed upon Kansas, which at once 
became the favorite goal of emigration. The 
Bill had loudly declared, that its object was 
"to leave the people perfectly free to form 
and regulate their domestic institutions in their 
own way:" and its supporters everywhere chal- 
lenged the determination of the question be- 
tween Freedom and Slavery by a competition 
of emigration. Thus, while opening the Terri- 
tory to Slavery, the bill also opened it to emi- 
grants from every quarter, who might by their 
votes redress the wrong. The populous North, 
stung by a sharp sense of outrage, and inspir- 
ed by a noble cause, poured into the debatable 
land, and promised soon to establish a supre- 
macy of numbers there, involving, of course, 
a just supremacy of Freedom. 

Then was conceived the consummation of the 
Crime against Kansas. "What could not be 
accomplished peaceably, was to be accom- 
plished forcibly. The reptile monster, that 
could not be quietly and securely hatched 
there, was to be pnshed full-grown into the 
Territory. All efforts were now given to the 
dismal work of forcing Slavery on Free Soil. 
In flagrant derogation of the very Popular 
Sovereignty, whose name helped to impose 
this Bill upon the country, the atrocious ob- 
ject was now distinctly avowed. And the 
avowal has been followed by the art. Slavery 
has been forcibly introduced into Kansas, and 
placed under the formal safeguards of pre- 
tended law. How this was done, belongs to 
the argument. 

In depicting thii consummation, the sim- 



plest outline, without one word of color, will 
be best. Whether regarded in its mass or its 
details, in its origin or its results, it is all 
blackness, illumined by nothing from itself, 
but only by the heroism of the undaunted men 
and women, whom it environed. A plain 
statement of tacts will be a picture of fearful 
truth, which faithful history will preserve in 
its darkest gallery. In the foreground all will 
recognize a familiar character, in himself a 
connecting link between the President and the 
border ruffian — less conspicuous for ability 
than for the exalted place he has occupied — 
who once sat in the seat where you now sit, 
sir; where once sat John Adamsand Thomas 
Jefferson; also, where once sat Aaron Burr. 
I need not add the name of David K. Atchi- 
son. You have not forgotten that, at the ses- 
sion of CoDgress immediately succeeding the 
Nebraska Bill, he came tardily to his duty 
here, and then, after a short time, disappeared". 
The secret has been Ions: since disclosed. Like 
Catiline, he stalked into this Chamber reek- 
ing with conspiracy — immo in Senatutn renit 
— and then like Catiline he skulked away — 
abiit, excessit, erasit, erupit — to join and pro- 
voke the conspirators, who at a distance 
awaited their congenial chief. Under the in- 
fluence of his malign presence the Crime 
ripened to its fatal fruits, while the similitude 
with Catiline was again renewed in the sym- 
pathy, not even concealed, which he found in 
the very Senate itself, where, beyond even the 
Roman example, a Senator has not hesitated 
to appear as his open compurgator. 

And now, as I proceed to show the way in 
which this Territory was overrun and finally 
subjugated to Slavery, I desire to remove in 
advance all question with regard to the autho- 
rity on which I rely. The evidence is second- 
ary ; but it is the best which, in the nature of 
the rase, can he had, and it is not less clear, 
direct, and peremptory, than any by which we 
are assured of the campaigns in the Crimea or 
the tall of Sevastopol. In its manifold mass, I 
confidently assert, that it is such a body of 
evidence as the human mind is not able to 
". It is found in the concurring reports 
of the public press ; in the letters of corres- 
pondents ; in the testimony of travellers ; and 
in the unaffected story to which I have listened 
from leading citizens, who, during this winter, 
have '"come flocking" here from that distant 
Territory. It breaks forth in the irrepressible 
outcry, reaching us from Kansas, in truthful 
tones, which leave no ground of mistake. It 
addresses us in formal complaints, instinct 
with the indignation of a people determined 
to be free, and unim] teachable as the declara- 
tions of a murdered man on his dyiug bed 
against his murderer. 

I begin with an admission from the Presi- 
dent himself, in whose sight the people of 



9 



Kansas have little favor. And yet, after 
arraigning the innocent emigrants from the 
North, he was constrained to declare that their 
conduct was "far from justifying the illegal 
and reprehensible counter-movement which 
ensued." Then, by the reluctant admission 
of the Chief Magistrate, there was a counter- 
movement, at once illegal and reprehensible. 
I thank thee. President, for teaching me these 
words ; and I now put them in the front of 
this exposition, as in themselves a confession. 
Sir, this " illegal and reprehensible counter- 
movement" is none other than the dreadful 
Crime — under an apologetic alias — by which, 
through successive invasions, Slavery has been 
forcibly planted in this Territory. 

Next to this Presidential admission must 
be placed the details of the invasions, which I 
now present as not only " illegal and repre- 
hensible," but also unquestionable evidence of 
the resulting Crime. 

The violence, for some time threatened, 
broke forth on the 29th November, 1854, at 
the first election of a Delegate to Congress, 
when companies from Missouri, amounting to 
upwards of one thousand, crossed into Kansas, 
and, with force and arms, proceeded to vote 
for Mr. Whitfield, the candidate of Slavery. 
An eye-witness, General Pomeroy, of superior 
intelligence and perfect integrity, thus de- 
scribes this scene: 

" The first ballot-box that was opened upon our virgin 
soil was closed to us by overpowering numbers and impend- 
ing force. So bold and reckless were our invaders, that 
they Gared not lo conceal their attack. They came upon us 
not in the guise of voters to steal away our franchise, but 
boldly and openly to snatch it with a strong hand. They 
came directly from their own homes, "and in compact and 
organised bands, with arms in hand and provisions for the 
expedition, marched to our polls, and, when their work was 
done, returned whence they came." 

Here was an outrage at which the coolest 
blood of patriotism boils. Though, for vari- 
ous reasons unnecessary to develop, the busy 
settlers allowed the election to pass uncontest- 
ed, still the means employed were none the 
less u illegal and reprehensible." 

This infliction was a significant prelude to 
the grand invasion of the 30th March, 1855, 
at the election of the first Territorial Legisla- 
ture under the organic law, when an armed 
multitude from Missouri entered the Territory, 
in larger numbers than General Taylor com- 
manded at Buena Vista, or than Gen. Jack- 
son had within his lines at New Orlean-— 
larger far than our fathers rallied on Bunker 
Hill. On they came as an " army with ban- 
ners," organized in companies, with officers, 
munitions, tents, and provisions, as though 
marching upon a foreign foe, and breathing 
loud-mouthed threats that they would carry 
their purpose, if need be, by the bowie-knife 
and revolver. Amonsr them, according to his 
own confession, was David R. Atchison, belted 
with the vulgar arms of his vulgar comrades. 



Arrived at their several destinations on the 
night before the election, the invaders pitched 
their tents, placed their sentries, and waited 
for the coming day. The same trust-worthy 
eye witness, whom I have already quoted, says, 
of one locality : 

" Baggage-wagons were there, with arms and ammunition 
enough for a protracted fight, and among them two brass 
field-pieces, ready charged. They came with drums beating 
and flags flying, and their leaders were of the most promi- 
nent and conspicuous men of their State." 

Of another locality, he says : 

"The invaders came together in one armed and organized 
body, with trains of fifty wagons, besides horsemen, and, the 
night before election, pitched their camp in the vicinity of 
the polls; and having appointed their own judges in place 
of those who, from intimidation or otherwise, failed to at- 
tend, they voted without any proof of residence." 

With this force they were able, on the suc- 
ceeding day, in some places, to intimidate the 
judges of elections; in others to substitute 
judges of their own appointment ; in others, to 
wrest the ballot-boxes from their rightful pos- 
sessors, and everywhere to exercise a complete 
control of the election, and thus, by a preter- 
natural audacity of usurpation, impose a Legis- 
lature upon the free people of Kansas. Thus 
was conquered the Sevastopol of that Terri- 
tory ! 

But it was not enough to secure the Legisla- 
ture. The election of a member of Congress 
recurred on the 2d October, 1855, and the same 
foreigners, who had learned their strength, 
again manifested it. Another invasion, in 
controlling numbers, came from Missouri, and 
once more forcibly exercised the electoral fran- 
chise in Kansas. 

At last, in the latter days of November, 
1855, a storm, long brewing, burst upon the 
heads of the devoted people. The ballot-boxes 
had been violated, and a Legislature installed, 
which had proceeded to carry out the conspi- 
racy of the invaders ; but the good people of 
the Territory, born to Freedom, and educated 
as American citizens, showed no signs of sub- 
mission. Slavery, though recognized by pre- 
tended law, was in many places practically an 
outlaw. To the lawless borderers, this was 
hard to bear ; and, like the Heathen of old, 
they raged, particularly against the town of 
Lawrence, already known, by the firmness of 
its principles and the character of its citizens, 
as the citadel of the good cause. On this 
account they threatened, in their peculiar lan- 
guage, to M wipe it out." Soon the hostile 
power was gathered for this purpose. The 
wickedness of this invasion was enhanced by 
the way in which it began. A citizen of 
Kansas, by the name of Dow, was murdered 
by one of the partisans of Slavery, under the 
name of " law and order." Such an outrage 
naturally aroused indignation and provoked 
threats. The professors of '"law and order" 
allowed the murderer to escape; and, still 



10 



further to illustrate the irony of the name they 
assumed, seized the friend of the murdered 
man, whose few neighbors soon rallied for his 
rescue. This transaction, though totally dis- 
regarded in its chief front of wickedness, be- 
came the excuse for unprecedented excitement. 
The weak Governor, with no faculty higher 
than servility to Slavery — whom the President, 
in his official delinquency, had appointed to a 
trust worthy only of a well-balanced character 
— was frightened from his propriety. By pro- 
clamation he invoked the Territory. By tele- 
graph he invoked the President. * The Terri- 
tory would not respond to his senseless appeal. 
The President was dumb ; but the proclama- 
tion was circulated throughout the border 
counties of Missouri ; and Platte, Clay, Car- 
lisle, Sabine, Howard, and Jefferson, each of 
them, contributed a volunteer company, re- 
cruited from the road sides, and armed with 
weapons which chance aft'orded — known as 
the "shot-gun militia" — with a Missouri 
officer as commissary general, dispensing ra- 
tions, and another Missouri officer as general- 
Ln-chief; with two wagon loads of rifles, 
belonging to Missouri, drawn by six mules, 
from its arsenal at Jefferson City"; with sewn 
pieces of cannon, belonging to the United 
States, from its arsenal at Liberty; and this 
formidable force, amounting to at least 1,800 
men, terrible with threats, with oaths, and with 
whisky, crossed the borders, and encamp- 
ed in larger part at Wacherusa, over against 
the doomed town of Lawrence, whieh was now 
threatened with destruction. With these inva- 
ders Was the Governor, who by this act levied 
war upon the people he was sent to protect. 
In camp with him was the original Catiline of 
the conspiracy, while by his side was the 
docile Chief Justice and the docile Judges. 
But this is not the first instance in which an 
unjust Governor has found tools where he 
ought to have found justice. In the great im- 
peachment of Warren Hastings, the British 
orator, by whom it was conducted, exclaims, 
in words strictly applicable to the misdeed I 
now arraign, "Had he not the Chief Justice, 
the tame and domesticated Chief Justice, who 
waited on him like a familiar spirit?" Thus 
was this invasion countenanced by those who 
should have stood in the breach against it. 
For more than a week it contiuued, while 
deadly conflict seemed imminent. I do not 
dwell on the heroism by which it was encoun- 
tered, or the mean retreat to which it was 
compelled; for that is not necessary to exhibit 
the Crime which you are to judge. But I 
cannot forbear to add other additional features, 
furnished in the letter of a clergymen, written 
at the time, who saw and was a part of what 
he describes : 

"Our citizens have been shot at, and in two instances 
murdered, our houses invaded, hay-ricks burnt, corn and 



other provisions plundered, cattle driven off, all communi- 
cation cut off between us and the States, wagons on the way 
to us with provisions stopped and plundered, and the drivers 
taken prisoners, and we in hourly expectation of an attack. 
A early every man has been in arms in the village. For- 
tifications have been thrown up, by incessant labor night 
and day. The sound of the drum and the tramp of armed 
men resounded through our streets, families fleeing with 
their household goods for safety. Day before yesterday, 
the report of cannon was heard at our house from the direc- 
tion of Lecompton. Last Thursday, one of our neighbors 
— one of the most peaceable and excellent of men, from 
Ohio — on his way home, was set upon by a gang of twelve 
men on horseback, and shot down. Over eight hundred 
men are gathered under arms at Lawrence. As yet, no act 
of violence has been perpetrated by those on our side. No 
blood of retaliation stains our hands. We stand and are 
ready to act purely in the defence of our homes a?id 
lives." 

But the catalogue is not yet complete. On 
the 15th of December, when the people as- 
sembled to vote on the Constitution then sub- 
mitted for adoption — only a few days after the 
Treaty of Peace between the Governor on the 
one side and the town of Lawrence on the 
other — another irruption was made into this 
unhappy Territory/ But I leave all this un- 
told. Enough of these details has been given. 

Five several times and more have these in- 
vaders entered Kansas in armed array, and 
thus five times and more have they trampled 
upon the organic law of the Territory. But 
these extraordinary expeditions are simply the 
extraordinary witnesses to successive uninter- 
rupted violence. They stand out conspicuous 
but not alone. The spirit of evil, in which 
they had their origin, was wakeful and inces- 
sant. From the beginning, it hung upon the 
skirts of this interesting Territory, harrowing 
its peace, disturbing its prosperity, and keep- 
ing its inhabitants under the painful alarms of 
war. Tims was all security of person, of pro- 
perty, and of labor, overthrown ; and when 
I urge this incontrovertible fact, I set forth a 
wrong, which is small only by the side of the 
giant wrong, for the consummation of which 
all this was done. Sir, what is man — what in 
government — without security; in the absence 
of which, nor man nor government can pro- 
ceed in development or enjoy the fruits of 
existence? Without security, civilization is 
cramped and dwarfed. Without securitv there 
can be no true Freedom. Nor shall I say too 
much, when I declare that security, guarded 
of course by its offspring, Freedom, is the true 
end and aim of government. Of this indis- 
pensable boon the people of Kansas have thus 
far been despoiled — absolutely, totally. All 
this is aggravated by the nature of their pur- 
suits, rendering them peculiarly sensitive to 
interruption, and at the same time attesting 
their innocence. They are for the most part 
engaged in the cultivation of the soil, which 
from time immemorial has been the sweet 
employment of undisturbed industry. Con- 
tented in the returns of bounteous nature and 
the shade of his own trees, the husbandman is 
not aggressive ; accustomed to produce, and 



11 



not to destroy, he is essentially peaceful, unless 
his home is invaded, when his arm derives 
vigor from the soil he treads, and his soul 
inspiration from the heavens beneath whose 
canopy he daily walks. And such are the 
people of Kansas, whose Security has been 
overthrown. Scenes from which civilization 
averts her countenance have been a part of 
their daily life. The border incursions, which, 
in barbarous ages or barbarous lands, have 
fretted aud "harried" an exposed people, 
have been here renewed, with this peculiarity, 
that our border robbers do not simply levy 
black mail and drive off a few cattle, like 
those who acted under the inspiration of the 
Douglas of other days; that they do not seize 
a few persons, and sweep them away into 
captivity, like the African slave-traders whom 
we brand as pirates; but that they commit a 
succession of acts, in which all border sorrows 
and all African wrongs are revived together 
on American soil, and which for the time 
being annuls all protection of all kinds, and 
enslaves the whole Territory. 

Private griefs mingle their poignancy with 
public wrongs. I do not dwell on the anxieties 
which families have undergone, exposed to 
sudden assault, and obliged to lie down to rest 
with the alarms of war ringing in their ears, 
not knowing that another day might be spared 
to them. Throughout this bitter winter, with 
the thermometer at 30 degrees below zero, the 
citizens of Lawrence have been constrained to 
sleep under arms, with sentinels treading their 
constant watch against surprise. But our 
souls are wrung by individual instances. In 
vain do we condemn the cruelties of another 
age — the refinements of torture to which men 
have been doomed — the rack and thumb-screw 
of the Inquisition, the last agonies of the regi- 
cide Ravaillac — "Luke's iron crown, and 
Daniien's bed of steel' — for kindred outrages 
have disgraced these borders. Murder has 
stalked — assasi nation has skulked in the tall 
grass of the prairie, and the vindictiveness of 
man has assumed unwonted forms. A preacher 
of the Gospel of the Saviour has been ridden on 
a rail, and then thrown into the Missouri, 
fastened to a log, and left to drift down its 
muddy, tortuous current. And lately we have 
had the tidings of that enormity without pre- 
cedence — a deed without a name — where a 
candidate of the Legislature was most brutally 
gashed with knives and hatchets, and then, 
alter weltering in blood on the snow-clad 
earth, was trundled along with gaping wounds, 
to fall dead in the face of his wife. It is 
common to drop a tear of sympathy over the 
trembling solicitudes of our early fathers, 
exposed to the stealthy assault of the savage 
foe ; and an eminent American artist has 
pictured this scene in a marble group of rare 
beauty, on the front of the National Capitol, 



where the uplifted towahawk is arrested by 
the strong arm and generous countenance of 
the pioneer, while his wife and children find 
shelter at his feet; but now the tear must be 
dropped over the trembling solicitudes of 
fellow-citizens, seeking to build a new State 
in Kansas, and exposed to the perpetual 
assault of murderous robbers from Missouri. 
Hirelings, picked from the drunken spew and 
vomit of an uneasy civilization — in the form 
of men — 

Aye, in the catalogue ye go for men ; 
As hounds and gray-hounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs, 
Sloughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are called 
All by the name of dogs ; 

leashed together by secret signs and lodges, 
have renewed the incredible atrocities of the 
Assassins and of the Thugs ; showing the 
blind submission of the Assassins to the Old 
Man of the Mountain, in robbing Christians on 
the road to Jerusalem, and showing the heart- 
lessness of the Thugs, who, avowing that mur- 
der was their religion, waylaid travellers on 
the great road from Agra to Delhi ; with the 
more deadly bowie-knife for the dagger of the 
Assassin, and the more deadly revolver for the 
noose of the Thug. 

In these invasions, attended by the entire 
subversion of all Security in this Territory, 
with the plunder of the ballot-box, and the 
pollution of the electoral franchise, I show 
simply the process in unprecedented Crime. 
If that be the best Government, where an 
injury to a single citizen is resented as an in- 
jury to the whole State, then must our Gov- 
eminent forfeit all claim to any such emi- 
nence, while it leaves its citizens thus exposed. 
In the outrage upon the ballot-box, even with- 
out the illicit fruits which I shall soon expose, 
there is a peculiar crime of the deepest dye, 
though subordinate to the final Crime, which 
should be promptly avenged. In countries 
where royalty is upheld, it is a special offence 
to rob the crown jewels, which are the emblems 
of that sovereignty before which the loyal 
subject bows, and it is treason to be found in 
adultery with the Queen, for in this way may 
a false heir be imposed upon the Sjtate ; but in 
our Republic the ballot-box is the single price- 
less jewel of that sovereignty which we re- 
spect, and the electoral franchise, out of which 
are born the rulers of a free people, is the 
Queen whom whom we are to guard against 
pollution. In this plain presentment, whether 
as regards Security, or as regards Elections, 
there is enough, surely, without proceeding 
further, to justify the intervention of Con- 
gress, most promptly and completely, to throw 
over this oppressed people the impenetrable 
shield of the Constitution and laws. But the 
half is not yet told. 

As every point in a wide-spread horizon 
radiates from a common centre, so everything 



12 



said or done in this vast circle of Crime radi- I in ^?tr- and I advise you, one and aU,to enter eterf 

j> j.\. r\ ti ,i , F i| I election district in Kansas, m defiance of Reeder ana 

ates irom the One Idea, that Kansas, at S.^ his vile myrmidons, and vote at the point of the bowie- 

hazards, must be made a slave State. In all 
the manifold wickednesses that have occurred, 
and in every successive invasion, this One 
Idea has been ever present, as the Satanic 
tempter — the motive power — the causing 
cause. 

To accomplish this result, three things were 
attempted : Jirst, by outrages of all kinds to 
drive the friends of Freedom already there 
out of the Territory ; secondly, to deter others 
from coming ; and, thirdly, to obtain the com- 
plete control of the Government. The pro- 
cess of driving out, and also of deterring, has 
failed. On the contrary, the friends of Free- 
dom there became more fixed in their resolves 
to stay and tight the battle, winch they had 
never sought, but from which they disdained 
to retreat ; while the friends of Freedom else- 
where were more aroused to the duty of time- 
ly succors, by men and munitions of just self- 
defence. 

But, while defeated in the first two pro- 
cesses proposed, the conspirators succeeded in 
the last. By the violence already portrayed 
at the election of the 30th March, when the 
polls were occupied by the armed hordes from 
Missouri, they imposed a Legislature upon the 
Territory, and thus, under the iron mask of 
law, established a Usurpation not less com- 
plete than any in history. That this was done, 
I proceed to prove. Here is the evidence: 

1. Only in this way can tins extraordinary 
expedition be adequately explained. In the 
words of Moliere, onee employed by John 
Quincy Adams in the other house, Que didble 
(ilhiient-ils /aire duns cette galere? What 
did they go into the Territory for? If their 
purposes were peaceful, as has been suggested, 
why cannons, arms, fiags, numbers, and all 
this violence? As simple citizens, proceeding 
to the honest exercise of the electoral fran- 
chise, they might have gone with nothing 
more than a pilgrim's stall'. Philosophy al- 
ways seeks a sufficient cause, and only in the 
One Idea, already presented, can a cause be 
found in any degree commensurate with this 
Crime; and this becomes so only when we 
consider the mad fanaticism of Slavery. 

2. Public notoriety steps forward to con- 
firm the suggestion of reason. In every place 
where Truth can freely travel, it has been 
asserted and understood, that the Legislature 
was imposed upon Kansas by foreigners from 
Missouri; and this universal voice is now 
received as undeniable verity. 

3. It is also attested by the harangues of 
the conspirators. Here is what Stringfellow 
said before the invasion : 

"To those who have qualms of. conscience as to violating 
laws, State or National, the time lias come when such impo- 
sitions must be disregarded, as your rights and property are 



knife and revolver. Neither give nor take quarter, as our 
case demands it. It is enough that the slaveholding interest 
wills it, from which there is no appeal. What right has 
Governor Reeder to rule Missourians in Kansas? His pro- 
clamation and prescribed oath must be repudiated. It is 
your interest to do so. Mind that Slavery is established 
where it is not prohibited." 

Here is what Atchison said after the inva- 
sion: 

" Well, what next? Why an election fbr members of the 
Legislature to organize the Territory must be held. What 
did I advise you to do then? Why, meet them on their own 
ground, and beat them at their own game again ; and, cold 
and inclement as the weather was, I went over with a com- 
pany of men. My object in going was not to vote. I had 
no right to vote, unless I had disfranchised myself in Mis- 
souri. I was not within two miles of a voting-place. My 
object in going was not to vote, but to settle a difficulty be- 
tween two of our candidates; and the Abolitionists of the 
North said, and published it abroad, that Atchison teas 
there with bowie-knife and revolver : and by God it teas 
true. I never did go into that Territory — I never intend 
to go into that Territory— without being prepared for all 
such kind of cattle. Well, we beat them, and Governor 
Reeder gave certificates to a majority of all the members of 
both Houses, and then, after they were organized, as every- 
body will admit, they were the only competent persons to 
say who were, and who were not, members of the same." 

4. It is confirmed by the contemporaneous 
admission of the Squatter Sovereign, a paper 
published at Atchison, and at once the organ 
of the President and of these Borderers, which, 
under date of 1st April, thus recounts the vic- 
tory : 

" Independence, Missouri, March 81, 1855. 
"Several hundred emigrants from Kansas have just en- 
tered our city. They were preceded by the Westport and 
Independence brass bands. They came in at the west side 
of the public square, and proceeded entirely around it, tha 
bands cheering us with fine music, and the emigrants with 
good news. Immediately following the bands were about 
two hundred horsemen in regular order; following these 
were one hundred and fifty wagons, carriages, &c. They 
gave repeated cheers for Kansas and Missouri. They report 
that not an Anti-Slavery man will be in the Legislature of 
Kansas. We have made a clean sveeep." 

5. It is also confirmed by the contempora- 
neous testimony of another paper, always 
faithful to Slavery, the New York Herald, in 
the letter of a correspondent from Brunswick, 
in Missouri, under date of 20th April, 1855: 

" From five to seven thousand men started from Missouri 
to attend the election, some to remove, but the most to re- 
turn to their families, with an intention, if they liked the 
Territory, to make it their permanent abode at the earliest 
moment practicable. But they intended to vota. The Mis- 
sourians were, most of them, Douglas men. There were on« 
hundred and fifty voters from this county, one hundred and 
seventy-five from Howard, one hundred from Cooper. In- 
deed, every county furnished its quota ; and when they set 
out, it looked like an army." * * * * " They were 
armed." * * * * " And as there were no bouses in the 
Territory, they carried tents. Their mission was a peace- 
able one— to vote, and to drive down stakes for their future 
homes. After the election, some one thousand five hundred 
of the voters sent a committee to Mr. Reeder, to ascertain 
if it was his purpose to ratify the election. He answered 
that it was, and said the majority at an election must carry 
the day. But it is not to be denied that the one thousand 
five hundred, apprehending that the Governor might at- 
tempt to play the tyrant— since his conduct had already 
been insidious and unjust — wore on their hats hunches of 
hemp. They were resolved, if a tyrant attempted to traujr- 
ple upon the rights of the sovereign people, to liaug him. 



13 



6. It is again confirmed by the testimony of 
a lady, who for five years has lived in Western 
Missouri, and thus writes in a letter published 
in the New Haven Register: 

" Miami, Saline Co., November 26, 1855. 
"You ask me to tell you something about the Kansas and 
Missouri troubles. Of course you know in what they have 
originated. There «-« no denying that the Missnurians 
have determined to control, the election*, if 'possible , and 
I don't know that their measures would be justifiable, ex- 
cept upon the principle of self-preservation; and that, you 
know, is the first law of nature." 

7. And it is confirmed still further by the 
circular of the Emigration Society of Lafay- 
ette, in Missouri, dated as late as 25th March, 
1856, in which the efforts of Missourians are 
openly confessed : 

" The Western counties of Missouri have, for the last two 
years, been heavily taxed, both in money and time, in fight- 
ing the battles of the South. Lafayette county alone has 
etcpe?ided mare than $100,000, in money and as much and 
more in time. Up to this time, the border counties of 
Missouri hare upheld and maintained the rights and 
interests of the South i/i this struggle, unassisted, and not 
unsuccessfully. But the Abolitionists, staking their all 
upon the Kansas issue, and hesitating at no means, fair or 
foul, are moving heaven and earth to render that beautiful 
Territory a Free State." 

8. Here, also, is complete admission of the 
Usurpation, by the Intelligencer, a leading 
paper of St. Louis, Missouri, made in the ensu- 
ing summer : 

" Atchison and Stringfellow, with their Missouri followers, 
overwhelmed the settlers in Kansas, browbeat and bullied 
theui, and took the Government from their hands. Missouri 
votes elected the present body of men who insult public in- 
telligence and popular rights by styling themselves ' the 
Legislature of Kansas.' This body of men are helping them- 
selves to fat speculations by locating the ' seat of Govern- 
ment,' and getting town lots for their votes. They are pass- 
ing laws disfranchising all the citizens of Kansas who do not 
believe Negro Slavery to be a Christian institution and a 
national blessing. They are proposing to punish with im- 
prisonment the utterance of views inconsistent with their 
own. And they are trying to perpetuate their preposterous 
and infernal tyranny by appointing for a term of years 
creatures of their own, as commissioners in every county, to 
lay and collect taxes, and see that the laws they are passing 
are faithfully executed. Has this age anything to compare 
with these acts in audacity?" 

9. In harmony with all these is the authori- 
tative declaration of Governor Reeder, in a 
speech addressed to his neighbors, at Easton, 
Pennsylvania, at the end of April, 1855, and 
immediately afterwards published in the Wash- 
ington Union. Here it is : 

" It was, indeed, too true that Kansas had been invaded, 
conquered, subjugated, by an armed force from beyond her 
borders, led on by a fanatical spirit, trampling under foot 
the principles of the Kansas bill and the right of suffrage." 

10. And in similar harmony is the com- 
plaint of the people of Kansas, in a public 
meeting at Big Springs, on the 5th September, 
1853, embodied in these words: 

" Resolved, That the body of men who for the last two 
months have been passing laws for the people of our Terri- 
tory, moved, counselled, and dictated to by the demagogues 
of Missouri, are to us a foreign body, representing only the 
lawless invaders who elected them, and not the people of the 
Territory — that w« repudiate their action, as the monstrous 
consummation of an act of violence, usurpation, and fraud, 



unparalleled in the history of the Union, and worthy only 
of men unfitted for the duties, and regardless of the respon- 
sibilities of Republicans." 

11. And finally, by the official minutes, 
which have been laid on our table by the Pre- 
sident, the invasion, which ended in the Usurp- 
ation, is clearly established ; but the effect of 
this testimony has been so amply exposed by 
the Senator from Vermont, [Mr. Collamer,] 
in his able and indefatigable argument, that 1 
content myself with simply referring to it. 

On this cumulative, irresistible evidence, in 
concurrence with the antecedent history, I 
rest. And yet Senators here have argued that 
this cannot be so — precisely as the conspiracy 
of Catiline was doubted in the Roman Senate. 
Nonnulli sunt in hoc ordine, qui aut ea, qum 
imminent, non videant ; aut ea, qua. vident, 
dissimtdent ; qui spem Catalince mollibus sen- 
tentiis aluerunt, conjurationemque nascentem 
non credendo corroboraverunt. As I listened 
to the Senator from Illinois, while he painful- 
ly strove to show that there was no Usurpa- 
tion, I was reminded of the effort by a dis- 
tinguished logician, in a much-admired argu- 
ment, to prove that Napoleon Bonaparte never 
existed. And permit mo to say, that the fact 
of his existence is not placed more completely 
above doubt than the fact of this Usurpation. 
This I assert on the proofs already presented. 
But confirmation comes almost while I speak. 
The columns of the public press are now daily 
rilled with testimony, solemnly taken before 
the Committee of Congress in Kansas, which 
shows, in awful light, the violence ending in 
the Usurpation. Of this I may speak on some 
other occasion. Meanwhile, I proceed with 
the development of the Crime. 

The usurping Legislature assembled at the 
appointed place in the interior, and then at 
once, in opposition to the veto of the Govern- 
or, by a majority of two-thirds, removed to 
the Shawnee Mission, a place in most conve- 
nient proximity to the Missouri borderers, by 
whom it had been constituted, and whose ty- 
rannical agent it was. The statutes of Mis- 
souri, in all their text, with their divisions and 
subdivisions, were adopted bodily, and Avith 
such little local adaptation that the word 
" State " in the original is not even changed to 
" Territory," but is left to be corrected by an 
explanatory act. But, all this general legisla- 
tion was entirely subordinate to the special 
act, entitled " An Act to punish offences 
against Slave Property," in which the One 
Idea, that provoked this whole conspiracy, is 
at last embodied in legislative form, and Hu- 
man Slavery openly recognized on Free Soil, 
under the sanction of pretended law. This 
act of thirteen sections is in itselt a Dance of 
Death. But its complex completeness of wick- 
edness, without a parallel, may be partially 



14 



conceived, when it is understood that in three 
sections only of it is the penalty of death de- 
nounced no less than forty-eight different 
times, by as many changes of language, 
against the heinous offence, described in forty- 
eight different ways, of interfering with what 
does not exist in that Territory — and under 
the Constitution cannot exist there — I mean 
property in human flesh. Thus is Liberty 
sacrificed to Slavery, and Death summoned to 
sit at the gates as guardian of the Wrong. 

But the work of Usurpation was not per- 
fected even yet. It had already cost too much 
to be left at any hazard. 

-" To be thus was nothing ; 



But to be safely thus 1" 

Such was the object. And this could not be, 
except by the entire prostration of all the safe- 
guards of Human Eights. The liberty of 
speech, which is the very breath of a Repub- 
lic ; the press, which is the terror of wrong- 
doers ; the bar, through which the oppressed 
beards the arrogance of law; the jury, by 
which right is vindicated; all these must be 
struck down, while officers are provided, in all 
places, ready to be the tools of this tyranny ; 
and then, to obtain final assurance that their 
crime was secure, the whole Usurpation, 
stretching over the Territory, most be fastened 
and riveted by legislative bolts, spikes, and 
screws, so as to defy all effort at change 
through the ordinary forms of law. To this 
work, in its various parts, were bent the sub- 
tlest energies ; and never, from Tubal Cain to 
this hour, was any fabric forged with more 
desperate skill and completeness. 

Mark, sir, three different legislative enact- 
ments, which constitute part of this work. 
First, according to one act, all who deny, by 
spoken or written word, "the right of per- 
sons to hold slaves in this Territory," are 
denounced as felons, to be punished by impri- 
sonment at hard labor, for a term not less 
than two years ; it may be for life. And to 
show the extravagance of this injustice, it has 
been well put by the Senator from Vermont 
[Mr. Collamek], that should the Senator from 
Michigan [Mr. Cass], who believes that Slavery 
cannot exist in a Territory, unless introduced 
by express legislative acts, venture there with 
his moderate opinions, his doom must be that 
of a felon ! To this extent are the great liber- 
ties of speech and of the press subverted. 
Secondly, by another act, entitled "An Act 
concerning Attomeys-at-Law," no person can 
practise as an attorney, unless he shall obtain 
a license from the Territorial courts, which, of 
course, a tyrannical discretion will be free to 
deny; and after obtaining such license, he is 
constrained to take an oath, not oidy u to sup- 
port" the Constitution of the United States, 
but also " to support and sustain" — mark here 



the reduplication — the Territorial Act, and the 
Fugitive Slave Bill, thus erecting a test for the 
function of the bar, calculated to exclude citi- 
zens who honestly regard that latter legisla- 
tive enormity as unfit to be obeyed. And, 
thirdly, by another act, entitled " An Act con- 
cerning Jurors," all persons " conscientiously 
opposed to holding slaves," or " not admitting 
the right to hold slaves in the Territory," are 
excluded from the jury on every question, 
civil or criminal, arising out of asserted slave 
property ; while, in all cases, the summoning 
of the jury is left without one word of restraint, 
to " the marshal, sheriff, or other officer," 
who are thus free to pack it according to their 
tyrannical discretion. 

For the ready enforcement of all statutes 
against Human Freedom, the President had 
already furnished a powerful quota of officers, 
in the Governor, Chief Justice, Judges, Secre- 
tary, Attorney, and Marshal. The Legislature 
• ompleted this part of the work, by constitut- 
1 ig, in each county, a Board of Commissioners, 
i unposed of two persons, associated with the 
1 robate Judge, whose duty it is "to appoint a 
county treasurer, coroner, justices of the 
peace, constables and another officers provided 
for by law," and then proceeded to the choice 
of this very Board; thus delegating and diffus- 
ing their usurped power, and tyrannically im- 
posing upon the Territory, a crowd of officers, 
in whose appointment the people have had no 
voice, directly or indirectly. 

And still the final inexorable work remain- 
ed. A Legislature, renovated in both branches, 
could not assemble until 1858, so that, (hiring 
this long intermediate period, this whole sys- 
tem must continue in the likeness of law, un- 
less overturned by the Federal Government, 
or, in default of such interposition, by a gener- 
ous uprising of an oppressed people. But 
it was necessary to guard against the possibi- 
lity of change, even tardily, at a future elec- 
tion ; and thi> was done by two different 
acts ; under the frst of which, all who will 
not take the oath to support the Fugitive 
Slave Bill are excluded from the elective fran- 
chise; and under the second of which, all 
others are entitled to vote who shall tender a 
tax of one dollar to the Sheriff on the day of 
election ; thus, by provision of Territorial law, 
disfranchising all opposed to Slavery, and at the 
same time opening the door to the votes of the 
invaders ; by an unconstitutional shibboleth, 
excluding from the polls the mass of actual 
settlers, and by making the franchise depend 
upon a petty tax only, admitting to the polls 
the mass of borderers from Missouri. Thus, 
by tyrannical forethought, the Usurpation not 
only fortified all that it did, but assumed 
a self-perpetuating energy. 

Thus was the Crime consummated. Slavery 
now stands erect, clanking its chains on the 



15 



Territory of Kansas, surrounded by a code of 
death, and trampling upon all cherished liber- 
ties, whether of speech, the press, the bar, the 
trial by jury, or the electoral franchise. And, 
sir, all tins has been done, not merely to 
introduce a vrrong which in itself is a denial 
of all rights, and in dread of which a mother 
has lately taken the life of ber offspring; not 
merely, as has been sometimes said, to protect 
Slavery in Missouri, since it is futile for this 
State to complain of Freedom on the side of 
Kansas, when Freedom exists withont com- 
plaint on the side of Iowa, and also on the side 
of Illinois; but it has been done for tbe sake 
of political power, in order to bring two new 
slaveholding Senators upon this floor, and thus 
to fortify in tbe National Government the 
desperate chances of a waning Oligarchy. As 
the ship, voyaging on pleasant summer seas, 
is assailed by a pirate crew, and robbed for 
the sake of its doubloons and dollars — so is 
this beautiful Territory now assailed in its 
peace and prosperity, and robbed, in order to 
wrest its political power to the side of Slavery. 
Even now the black flag of the land pirates 
from Missouri waves at the mast head; in 
their laws you hear the pirate yell, and see the 
flash of the pirate's knife ; while, incredible to 
relate ! the President, gathering the Slave 
Power at his back, testifies a pirate sympathy. 
Sir, all this was done in the name of popular 
Sovereignty. And this is the close of the tra- 
gedy. Popular Sovereignty, which when truly 
understood, is a fountain of just power, has 
ended in Popular Slavery ; not merely in the 
subjection of the unhappy African race, but of 
this proud Caucasian blood, which you boast. 
The profession with which you began, of All 
by the People, has been lost in the wretched 
reality of Nothing for the People. Popular 
Sovereignty, in whose deceitful name plighted 
faith was broken, and an ancient Landmark of 
Freedom was overturned, now lifts itself be- 
fore us, like Sin, in the terrible picture of 
Milton, 

" That seemed a woman to the waist, and fair, 
But ended foul in many a scaly fold 
Voluminous and vast, a serpent armed 
With mortal sting; about her middle round 
A cry of hell-houndi never ceasing barked 
With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung 
A hideous peal ; yet, when they list, would creep, 
If aught disturbed their noise, into her womb, 
And kennel there, yet there still barked and howled 
Within unseen." 

The image is complete at all points ; and, 
with this exposure, I take my leave of the 
Crime against Kansas. 

II. Emerging from all the blackness of this 
Crime, in which we seem to have been lost, 
as in a savage wood, and turning our backs 
upon it, as upon desolation and death, from 
whioh while others have suffered, we have es- 



caped, I come now to Trra Apologies which 
the Crime lias found. Sir, well may you start 
at the suggestion that such a series of wrongs, 
so clearly proved by various testimony, so 
openly confessed by the wrong-doers, and so 
widely recognized throughout the country, 
should find Apologies. But the partisan spi- 
rit, now, as in other days, hesitates at nothing. 
The great Crimes of history have never been 
without Apologies. The massacre of St. Bar- 
tholomew, which you now instinctively con- 
demn, was, at the time, applauded in high 
quarters, and even commemorated by a Papal 
medal, which may still be procured at Rome ; 
as the crime against Kansas, which is hardly 
less conspicuous in dreadful eminence, has 
been shielded on this floor by extenuating 
words, and even by a Presidential message, 
which, like the Papal medal, can never be for- 
gotten in considering the madness and perver- 
sity of men. 

Sir, the Crime cannot be denied. The Pre- 
sident himself has admitted " illegal and repre- 
hensible " conduct. To such conclusions he 
was compelled by irresistible evidence; but 
what he mildly describes I openly arraign. 
Senators may affect to put it aside by a sneer, 
or to reason it away by figures ; or to explain 
it by a theory, such as desperate invention 
has produced on this floor, that the Assassins 
and Thugs of Missouri were in reality citizens 
of Kansas ; but all these efforts, so far as made, 
are only tokens of the weakness of the cause, 
while to the original Crime they add another 
offence of false testimony against innocent and 
suffering men. But the Apologies for the 
Crime are worse than the efforts at denial. 
In cruelty and heartlessness they identify their 
authors with the great trangression. 

They are four in number, and four-fold in 
character. The first is the Apology tyranni- 
cal ; the second, the Apology imbecile; the 
third, the Apology absurd ; and the fourth the 
Apology infamous. This is all. Tyranny, im- 
becility, absurdity, and infamy, all unite to 
dance like the weird sisters, about this Crime. 

The Apology tyrannical is founded on the 
mistaken act of Governor Reeder, in authenti- 
cating the Usurping Legislature, by which it 
is asserted that, whatever may have been the 
actual force or fraud in its election, the people 
of Kansas are effectually concluded, and the 
whole proceeding is placed under the formal 
sanction of law. According to this assump- 
tion, complaint is now in vain, and it only re- 
mains that Congress should sit and hearken 
to it, without correcting the wrong, as the an- 
cient tyrant listened and granted no redress to 
the human moans that issued from the heated 
brazen bull, which subtle cruelty had devised, 
This I call the Apology of technicality inspi- 
red tyranny. 

The facts on this head are few and plain. 



16 



Governor Eeeder, after allowing only five days 
for objections to the returns — a space of time 
unreasonably brief in that extensive Territory 
— declared a majority of the members of the 
Council and of the House of Representatives 
" duly elected," withheld certificates from cer- 
tain others, because of satisfactory proof that 
they were not duly elected, and appointed a 
day for new elections to supply these vacan- 
cies. Afterwards, by formal message, he re- 
cognized the Legislature as a legal body, and 
when he vetoed their act of adjournment 
to the neighborhood of Missouri, he did it 
simply on the ground of the illegality of such 
an adjournment under the organic law. Now, 
to every assumption founded on these facts, 
there are two satisfactory replies; first, that 
no certificate of the Governor can do more 
than authenticate a subsisting legal act, with- 
out of itself infusing legality where the essence 
of legality is not already ; and secondly, that 
violence or fraud, wherever disclosed, vitiates 
completely every proceeding. In denying 
these principles, you place the certificate above 
the thing certified, and give a perpetual lease 
to violence and fraud, merely because at an 
ephemeral moment they were unquestioned. 
This will not do. 

Sir, I am no apologist for Governor Reeder. 
There is sad reason to believe that he went to 
Kansas originally as the tool of the President; 
but his simple mature, nurtured in the atmos- 
phere of PennsVi inia, revolted at the service 
required, and he turned from his patron to 
duty. Grievously did he err in yielding to the 
Legislature any act of authentication; but he 
has in some measure answered for this error 
by determined efforts siuce to expose the utter 
illegality of that body, which he now repu- 
diates entirely. It was said of certain Roman 
Emperors, who did infinite mischief in their 
beginnings, and infinite good towards their 
ends, that they should never have been born 
or never died ; and I would apply the same to 
the official life of this Kansas Governor. At 
all events, 1 dismiss the Apology founded on 
his acts, as the utterance of tyranny by the 
voice of law, transcending the declaration of 
the pedantic judge, in the British Parliament, 
on the eve of our Revolution, that our fathers, 
notwithstanding their complaints, were in 
reality represented in Parliament, inasmuch as 
their lands, under the original charters, were 
held " in common socage, as of the manor of 
Greenwich in Kent," which, being duly repre- 
sented, carried with it all the Colonies. Thus 
in other ages has tyranny assumed the voice 
of law. 

Next comes the Apology imbecile, which is 
founded on the alleged want of power in the 
President to arrest the Crime. It is openly 
asserted, that, under the existing laws of the 
United States, the Chief Magistrate had no 



authority to interfere in Kansas for this pur- 
pose. Such is the broad statement, which, 
even if correct, furnishes no Apology for any 
proposed ratification of the Crime, but which 
is in reality untrue ; and this, I call the 
Apology of imbecility. 

In other matters, no such ostentatious imbe- 
cility appears. Only lately, a vessel of war in 
the Pacific has chastised the cannibals of the 
Fejee islands, for alleged outrages on Ameri- 
can citizens. But no person of ordinary intel- 
ligence will pretend that American citizens in 
the Pacific have received wrongs from these 
cannibals comparable in atrocity to those receiv- 
ed by American citizens in Kansas. Ah, sir, 
the interests of Slavery are not touched by any 
chastisement of the Fejees ! 

Constantly we are informed of efforts at 
New York, through the agency of the Govern- 
ment, and sometimes only on the breath of 
suspicion, to arrest vessels about to sail on 
foreign voyages in violation of our neutrality 
laws or treaty stipulations. Now, no man 
familiar with these cases will presume to sug- 
gest that the urgency for these arrests was 
equal to the urgency for interposition against 
these successive invasions from Missouri. But 
the Slave Power is not disturbed by such 
arrests at New York ! 

At this moment the President exults in the 
vigilance with which he has prevented the en- 
listraent of a few soldiers, to be carried off to 
Halifax, in violation of our territorial sover- 
eignty, and England is bravely threatened, 
even to the extent of a rupture of diplomatic 
relations, for her endeavor, though unsuccess- 
ful, and at once abandoned. But no man in 
his senses will urge that the act was anything 
hut trivial by the side of the Crime against 
Kansas. But the Slave Power is not concern- 
ed in this controversy. 

Thus, where the Slave Power is indifferent, 
the President will see that the laws are faith- 
fully executed; but, in other cases, where the 
interests of Slavery are at stake, he is controll- 
ed absolutely by this tyranny, ready at all 
times to do, or not to do, precisely as it dic- 
tates. Therefore it is, that Kansas is left a 
prey to the Propagandists of Slavery, while 
the whole Treasury, the Army and Navy of 
the United States, are lavished to hunt a 
single slave through the streets of Boston. 
Yon have not forgotten the latter instance ; 
but I choose to refresh it in your minds. 

As long ago as 1851, the War Department 
and Navy Department concurred in placing 
the forces of the United States, near Boston, 
at the command of the Marshal, if needed, for 
the enforcement of an Act of Congress, which 
had no support in the public conscience, as I 
believe it has no support in the Constitution ; 
and thus these forces were degraded to the 
loathsome work of slave-hunters. More than 



17 



three years afterwards, an occasion arose for 
their intervention. A fugitive from Virginia, 
who for some days had trod the streets of 
Boston as a freeman, was seized as a slave. 
The whole community was aroused, while 
Bunker Hill and Faneuil Hall quaked with res- 
ponsive indignation. Then, sir, the President, 
anxious that no tittle of Slavery should suffer, 
was curiously eager in the enforcement of the 
statute. The despatches between him and his 
agents in Boston attest his zeal. Here are 
some of them : 

Boston, May 27, 1854. 
To the President of the United States : 

In consequence of an attack upon the Court-house, last 
night, for the purpose of rescuing a fugitive slave, under 
arrest, and in which one of my own guards was killed, I 
have availed myself of the resources of the United States, 
placed under my control by letter from the War and Navy 
departments, in 1861, and now have two companies of 
Troops, from Fort Independence, stationed in the Court- 
house. Everything is now quiet. The attack was repulsed 
by my own guard. 

WATSON FREEMAN. 
United State* Marshal, Boston, Mass. 

Washington, May, 27, 1854. 
To Watson Freeman, 

United States Marshal, Boston, Mass. 
Tour conduct is approved. The law roust be executed. 

FKANKLIN PIERCE. 

Washington, May, 30, 1854 . 
To Hon. B. F. Hallett Boston, Mass. 
What is the state of the case of Burns ? 

SIDNEY WEBSTER. 
[Private Secretary of the President.] 

Washington, May, 31, 1S54. 
To B. F. Hallett, 

United States Attorney, Boston, Mass. 
Incur any expense deemed necessary by the Marshal 
and yourself, for City Military, or otherwise, to insure the 
execution of the law. 

FRANKLIN PIERCE. 

But the President was not content with 
such forces as were then on hand in the neigh- 
borhood. Other posts also were put under 
requisition. Two companies of National 
troops, stationed at New York, were kept un- 
der arms, ready at any moment to proceed to 
Boston ; and the Adjutant General of the 
Army was directed to repair to the scene, 
there to superintend the execution of the sta- 
tute. All this was done for the sake of 
Slavery; but during long months of menace 
suspended over the Free Soil of Kansas, break- 
ing forth in successive invasions, the Presi- 
dent has folded his hands in complete listless- 
ness, or, if he has moved at all, it has been 
only to encourage the robber propagandists. 

And now the intelligence of the country is 
insulted by the Apology, that the President 
had no power to interfere. Why, sir, to 
make this confession is to confess our Govern- 
ment to be a practical failure — which I will 
never do, except, indeed, as it is administered 
now. No, sir ; the imbecility of the Chief 
Magistrate shall not be charged upon our 
American Institutions. "Where there is a will, 

2 



there is a way; and in his case, had the will 
existed, there would have been a way, easy 
and triumphant, to guard against the Crime 
we now deplore. His powers were in every 
respect ample ; and this I will prove by the 
statute book. By the Act of Congress of 28th 
February, 1795, it is enacted, " that whenever 
the laws of the United States shall be ap- 
posed, or the execution thereof obstructed in 
any State, by combinations too powerful to be 
suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial 
proceedings, or by the powers vested in the 
marshals," the President " may call forth the 
militia." By the supplementary act of 3d 
March, 1807, in all cases where he is autho- 
rized to call forth the militia " for the pur- 
pose of causing the laws to be duly executed," 
the President is further empowered, in any 
State or Territory, " to employ for the same 
purposes such part of the land or naval force 
of the United States as shall be judged neces- 
sary." There is the letter of the law ; and 
you will please to mark the power conferred. 
In no case where the laics of the United 
States are opposed, or their execution obstruct- 
ed, is the President constrained to wait for the 
requisition of a Governor, or even the peti- 
tion of a citizen. Just so soon as he learns 
the fact, no matter by what channel, he is in- 
vested by law with full power to counteract 
it. True it is, that when the laws of a State 
are obstructed, he can interfere only on the 
application of the Legislature of such State, 
or of the Executive, when the Legislature can- 
not be convened ; but when the Federal laws 
are obstructed, no such preliminary applica- 
tion is necessary. It is his high duty, under 
his oath of office, to see that they are exe- 
cuted, and, if need be, by the Federal forces. 

And, sir, this is the precise exigency that 
has arisen in Kansas — precisely this ; nor 
more, nor less. The Act of Congress, consti- 
tuting the very organic law of the Territory, 
which, in peculiar phrase, as if to avoid ambi- 
guity, declares, as " its true intent and mean 
ing," that the people thereof " shall be left per- 
fectly free to form and regulate their domes- 
tic institutions in their own way," has been 
from the beginning opposed and obstructed in its 
execution. If the President had power to em- 
ploy the Federal forces in Boston, when he sup- 
posed the Fugitive Slave Bill was obstructed, 
and merely in anticipation of such obstruction, 
it is absurd to say that he had not power in 
Kansas, when, in the face of the whole coun- 
try, the very organic law of the Territory was 
trampled under foot by successive invasions, 
and the freedom of the people overthrown. 
To assert ignorance of this obstruction — pre- 
meditated, long-continued, and stretching 
through months — attributes to him not merely 
imbecility, but idiocy. And thus do I dia» 
pose of this Apology. 



18 



Next comes the Apology absurd, which is, 
indeed, in the nature of a pretext. It is al- 
leged that a small printed pamphlet, contain- 
ing the " Constitution and Eitual of the Grand 
Encampment and Eegiments of the Kansas 
Legion," was taken from the person of one 
George F. "Warren, who attempted to avoid 
detection by chewing it. The oaths and gran- 
diose titles of the pretended Legion have all 
been set forth, and this poor mummery of a 
secret society, which existed only on paper, 
has been gravely introduced on this floor, in 
order to extenuate the Crime against Kansas. 
It has been paraded in more than one speech, 
and even stuffed into the report of the com- 
mittee. 

A part of the obligations assumed by the 
members of this Legion shows why it has 
been thus pursued, and also attests its inno- 
cence. It is as follows : 

" I will never knowingly propose a person of member- 
ship in this order who is not in favor of making Kansas 
a free State, and whom I feel satisfied will exert his entire 
influence to bring about this result. I will support, main- 
tain, and abide by any honorable movement made by the 
organization to secure this great end, which will not con- 
flict icith the laws of tlie country and the Constitution of 
Vie United States." 

Kansas is to be made a free State, by an 
honorable movement, which will not conflict 
with the laws and the Constitution. That is 
the object of the organization, declared in the 
very words of the initiatory obligation. Where 
is the wrong in this ? What is there here, 
which can cast reproach, or even suspicion, 
upon the people of Kansas? Grant that the 
Legion was constituted, can you extract from 
it any Apology for the original Crime, or for 
its present ratification? Secret societies, with 
their extravagant oaths, are justly offensive; 
but who can find, in this mistaken machinery, 
any excuse for the denial of all rights to the 
people of Kansas? All this, I say, on the 
supposition that the society was a reality, 
which it was not. Existing in the fantastic 
brains of a few persons only, it never had any 
practical life. It was never organized. The 
win ile tale, with the mode of obtaining 
the copy of the Constitution, is at once a cock- 
and-bull story and a mare's nest; trivial as 
the former ; absurd as the latter ; and to be 
dismissed, with the Apology founded upon it, 
to the derision which triviality and absurdity 
justly receive. 

It only remains, under this head, that I 
should speak of the Apology infamous, founded 
on false testimony against the Emigrant Aid 
Company, and assumptions of duty more false 
than the testimony. Defying Truth and mock- 
ing Decency, this Apology excels all others in 
futility and audacity, while, from its utter 
hollowness, it proves the utter impotence of 
the conspirators to defend their Crime. False- 
hood, always infamous, in this case arouses 



peculiar scorn. An association of sincere 
benevolence, faithful to the Constitution and 
laws, whose only fortifications are hotels, 
school-houses, and churches ; whose only wea- 
pons are saw-mills, tools, and books ; whose 
mission is peace and good will, has been falsely 
assailed on this floor, and an errand of blame- 
less virtue has been made the pretext for an 
unpardonable Crime. Nay, more — the inno- 
cent are sacrified, and the guilty set at liberty. 
They who seek to do the mission of the Saviour 
are scourged and crucified, while the murderer, 
Barabbas, with the sympathy of the chief 
priests, goes at large. 

Were I to take counsel of my own feelings, 
I should dismiss this whole Apology to the 
ineffable contempt which it deserves ; but it has 
been made to play such a part in this conspiracy, 
that I feel it a duty to expose it completely. 

Sir, from the earliest times, men have recog- 
nized the advantages of organization, as an 
effective agency in promoting works of peace 
or war. Especially at this moment, there is 
no interest, public or private, high or low, of 
charity or trade, of luxury or convenience, 
which does not seek its aid. Men organize to 
rear churches and to sell thread ; to build 
schools and to sail ships ; to construct roads 
and to manufacture toys ; to spin cotton and 
to print books ; to weave clothes and to 
quicken harvests ; to provide food and to dis- 
tribute light ; to influence Public Opinion and 
to secure votes ; to guard infancy in its weak- 
ness, old age in its decrepitude, and woman- 
hood in its wretchedness ; and now, in all large 
towns, when death has come, they are buried 
by organized societies, and, emigrants to 
another world, they lie down in pleasant places, 
adorned by organized skill. To complain that 
this prevailing principle has been applied to 
living emigration is to complain of Providenco 
and the irresistible tendencies implanted in man. 

But this application of the principle is no 
recent invention, brought forth for an existing 
emergency. It has the best stamp of Anti- 
quity. It showed itself in the brightest days 
of Greece, where colonists moved in organized 
bands. It became a part of the mature policy 
of Rome, where bodies of men were constituted 
expressly for this purpose, triumviri ad colonos 
deducendos. — (Livy, xxxvii, § 46). Naturally 
it has been accepted in modern times by every 
civilized State. With the sanction of Spain, 
an association of Genoese merchants first in- 
troduced slaves to this continent, with the 
sanction of France, the Society of Jesuite 
stretched their labors over Canada and the 
Great Lakes to the Mississippi. It was under 
the auspices of Emigrant Aid Companies, that 
our country was originally settled, by the 
Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth, by the adventur- 
ers of Virginia, and by the philanthropic Ogle- 
thorpe, whose " benevolence of soul," com- 



19 



memorated by Pope, sought to plant a Free 
State in Georgia. At this day, such associa- 
tions, of an humbler character, are found in 
Europe, with offices in the great capitals, 
Lhrough whose activity emigrants are directed 
here. 

For a long time, emigration to the West, 
from the Northern and Middle States, but par- 
ticularly from New England, has been of 
marked significance. In quest of better homes, 
annually it has pressed to the unsettled lands, 
in numbers to be counted by tens of thou- 
sands ; but this has been done heretofore with 
little knowledge, and without guide or coun- 
sel. Finally, when, by the establishment of a 
Government in Kansas, the tempting fields of 
that central region were opened to the compe- 
tition of peaceful colonization, and especially 
when it was declared that the question of 
Freedom or Slavery there was to be deter- 
mined by the votes of actual settlers, then at 
once was organization enlisted as an effective 
agency in quickening and conducting the emi- 
gration impelled thither, and, more than all, 
in providing homes for it on arrival there. 

The Company was first constituted under 
an act of the Legislature of Massachusetts, 4th 
of May, 1854:, some weeks prior to the passage 
of the Nebraska bill. The original act of in- 
corporation was subsequently abandoned, and 
a new charter received in February, 1855, in 
which the objects of the Society are thus de- 
clared : 

"For the purposes of directing emigration Westward, and 
aiding in providing accommodations for the emigrants 
after arriving at their places of destination." 

At any other moment, an association for 
these purposes w T ould have taken its place, by 
general consent, among the philanthropic ex- 
periments of tbe age: but Crime is always 
suspicious, and shakes, like a sick man, merely 
at the pointing of a finger. The conspirators 
against Freedom in Kansas now shook with 
tremor, real or affected. Their wicked plot 
was about to fail. To help themselves, they 
denounced the Emigrant Aid Company ; and 
their denunciations, after finding an ecbo in 
the President, have been repeated, with much 
particularity, on this floor, in the formal report 
of your committee. 

The falsehood of the whole accusation will 
appear in illustrative specimens. 

A charter is set out, section by section, 
which, though originally granted, was subse- 
quently abandoned, and is not in reality the 
charter of the Company, but it is materially 
unlike it. 

The Company is represented as " a power- 
ful corporation, with a capital of five mil- 
lions ;" when, by its actual charter, it is not 
allowed to hold property above one million, 
and in point of fact, its capital has not ex- 
ceeded $100,000. 



Then, again, it is suggested, if not alleged, 
that this enormous capital, which I have 
already said docs not exist, is invested in 
"cannon and rilles, in powder and had, and 
implements of war" — all of which, whether 
alleged or suggested, is absolutely false. The 
officers of the Company authorize me to give 
to this whole pretension a point-blank denial. 

All of these allegations are of small impor- 
tance, and I mention them only because they 
show the character of the report, and also 
something of the quicksand on which the 
Senator from Illinois has chosen to plant him- 
self. Put these are all capped by the unblush- 
ing assertion that the proceedings of the com- 
pany were "in perversion of the plain provi- 
sions of an Act of Congress ;" and also, 
another unblushing assertion, as " certain and 
undeniable," that the Company was formed to 
promote certain objects, "regardless of the 
rights and wishes of the people, as guarantied 
by the Constitution of the United States, and 
secured by their organic law ;" when it is cer- 
tain and undeniable that the Company has 
done nothing in perversion of any Act of 
Congress, while to the extent of its power it 
has sought to protect the rights and wishes of 
the actual people in the Territory. 

Sir, this Company has violated in no respect 
the Constitution or laws of the land ; not in 
the severest letter or the slightest spirit. Put 
every other imputation is equally baseless. It 
is not true, as the Senator from Illinois has 
alleged, in order in some way to compromise 
the Company, that it was informed before the 
public of the date fixed for the election of the 
Legislature. This statement is pronounced by 
the Secretary, in a letter now before me, " an 
unqualified falsehood, not having even the sha- 



dow of a shade of truth for its basis 



It is 



not true that men have been hired by the 
Company to go to Kansas ; for every emigrant, 
who has gone under its direction, has himself 
provided the means for his journey. Of 
course, sir, it is not true, as has been com- 
plained by the Senator from South Carolina, 
with that proclivity to error which marks all 
his utterances, that men have been sent by the 
Company " witli one uniform gun, Sharpe's 
rifle ;" for it has supplied no arms of any kind 
to anybody. It is not true that the Company 
has encouraged any fanatical aggression upon 
the people of Missouri ; for it has counseled 
order, peace, forbearance. It is not true that 
the Company has chosen its emigrants on ac- 
count of their political opinions; for it has 
asked no questions with regard to the opinions 
of any whom it aids, and at this moment 
stands ready to forward those from the South 
as well as the North, while, in the Territory, 
all, from whatever quarter, are admitted to an 
equal enjoyment of its tempting advantages. 
It is no t true that the Company has sent persona 



20 



merely to control elections, and not to remain 
in the Territory ; for its whole action, and all 
its anticipation of pecuniary profits, are found- 
ed on the hope to stock the country with per- 
manent settlers, by whose labor the capital of 
the Company shall be made to yield its in- 
crease, and by whose fixed interest in the soil 
the welfare of all shall be promoted. 

Sir, it has not the honor of being an Aboli- 
tion Society, or of numbering among its offi- 
cers Abolitionists. Its President is a retired 
citizen, of ample means and charitable life, 
who has taken no part in the conflicts on 
Slavery, and has never allowed his sympathies 
to be felt by Abolitionists. One of its Vice- 
Presidents is a gentleman from Virginia, with 
family and friends there, who has always op- 
posed the Abolitionists. Its generous Trea- 
surer, who is now justly absorbed by the ob- 
jects of the Company, has always been under- 
stood as ranging with his extensive connec- 
tions, by blood and marriage, on the side of 
that quietism which submits to all the tyranny 
of the Slave Power. Its Directors are more 
conspicuous for wealth and science, than for 
any activity against Slavery. Among these is 
an eminent lawyer of Massachusetts, Mr. Chap- 
man — personally known, doubtless, to some 
who hear me — who has distinguished himself 
by an austere conservatism, too natural to the 
atmosphere of courts, which does not flinch 
even from the support of the Fugitive Slave 
Bill. In a recent address at a public meeting 
in Springfield, this gentleman thus speaks for 
himself and his associates : 

"I have been a Director of the Society from the first, and 
have kept myself well '■" .rmed in regard to its proceedings. 
I am not aware tha. any one in this community ever sus- 
pected me of being an Abolitionist ; but I have been accused 
of being Pro-Slavery; and I believe many good people think 
I am quite too conservative on that subject. I take this oc- 
casion to say that all the plans and proceedings of the Soci- 
ety have met my approbation ; and I assert that it has never 
done a single act with which any political party, or the peo- 
ple of any section of the country can justly find fault. The 
name of its President, Mr. Brown, of Providence, and of its 
Treasurer, Mr. Lawrence, of Boston, are a sufficient guar- 
antee in the estimation of intelligent men against its being 
engaged in any fanatical enterprise. Its stockholders are 
composed of men of all political parties except Abolitionists. 
I am not aware that it has received the patronage of that 
class of our fellow-citizens, and lam informed that some of 
them disapprove of its proceedings." 

The acts of the Company have been such as 
might be expected from auspices thus severely 
careful at all points. The secret, through 
which, with small means, it has been able to 
accomplish so much, is, that, as an inducement 
to emigration, it has gone forward and planted 
capital in advance of population. According 
to the old immethodical system, this rule is re- 
versed ; and population has been left to grope 
blindly, without the advantage of fixed cen- 
tres, with mills, schools, and churches — all 
calculated to soften the hardships of pioneer 
life — such as have been established beforehand 
in Kansas. Here, sir, is the secret of the Em- 



igrant Aid Company. By this single princi- 
ple, which is now practically applied for the 
first time in history, and which has the sim- 
plicity of genius, a business association at a 
distance, without a large capital, has become 
a beneficent instrument of civilization, exer- 
cising the functions of various Societies, and 
in itself being a Missionary Society, a Bible 
Society, a Tract Society, an Education Society, 
and a Society for the Diffusion of the Mechan- 
ic Arts. I would not claim too much for this 
Company; but I doubt if, at this moment, 
there is any Society, which is so completely 
philanthropic; and since its leading idea, like 
the light of a candle from which other candles 
are lighted without number, may be applied 
indefinitely, it promises to be an important 
aid to Human Progress. The lesson it teaches 
cannot be forgotten, and hereafter, wherever 
unsettled lands exist, intelligent capital will 
lead the way, anticipating the wants of the 
pioneer — nay, doing the very work of the 
original pioneer — while, amidst well-arranged 
harmonies, a new community will arise, to be- 
come, by its example, a more eloquent preach- 
er than any solitary missionary. In subordi- 
nation to this essential idea, is its humbler 
machinery for the aid of emigrants on their 
way, by combining parties, so that friends and 
neighbors might journey together; by pur- 
chasing tickets at wholesale, and furnishing 
them to individuals at the actual cost; by pro- 
viding for each party a conductor familiar 
with the road, and, through these simple 
means, promoting the economy, safety, and 
comfort, of the expedition. The number of 
emigrants it has directly aided, even thus 
slightly, in their journey, has been infinitely 
exaggerated. From the beginning of its ope- 
rations, down to the close of the last autumn, 
all its detachments from Massachusetts con- 
tained only thirteen hundred and twelve per- 
sons. 

Such is the simple tale of the Emigrant Aid 
Company. Sir, not even suspicion can justly 
touch it. But it must be made a scapegoat. 
This is the decree which has gone forth. I 
was hardly surprised at this outrage, when it 
proceeded from the President, for, like Mac- 
beth, he is stepped so far in, that returning 
were as tedious as go on ; but I did not expect 
it from the Senator from Missouri [Mr. Geyek,] 
whom I had learned to respect for the general 
moderation of his views, and the name he has 
won in an honorable profession. Listening to 
him, I was saddened by the spectacle of the 
extent to which Slavery will sway a candid 
mind to do injustice. Had any other interest 
been in question, that Senator would have 
scorned to join in impeachment of such an 
association. His instincts as a lawyer, as a 
man of honor, and as a Senator, would have 
forbidden ; but the Slave Power, in enforcing 



21 



its behests, allows no hesitation, and the 
Senator surrendered. 

In this vindication, I content myself with a 
statements of facts, rather than an argument. 
It might he urged that Missouri had organized 
a propagandist emigration long before any 
one from Massachusetts, and you might be 
reminded of the wolf in the fable, which com- 
plained of the lamb for disturbing the waters, 
when in fact the alleged offender was lower 
down on the stream. It might be urged, also, 
that South Carolina has lately entered upon 
a similar system — while one of her chieftains, 
in rallying recruits, has unconsciously attested 
to the cause in which he was engaged, by 
exclaiming, in the words of Satan, addressed, 
to his wicked forces, 

" Awake ! arise ! or be forever fallen !" 

Mr. EVANS. I should be glad to have the 
gentleman state where he got that information. 
1 know something about South Carolina, and 
I never heard of any such thing, and I do not 
think it exists. 

Mr. SUMNER. I beg the Senator's pardon ; 
it was in a speech or letter of one of the gentle- 
men enlisted in obtaining emigrants in South 
Carolina. But the occasion needs no such 
defences. I put them aside. Not on the 
example of Missouri, or the example of South 
Carolina, but on inherent rights, which no 
man, whether Senator or President, can justly 
assail, do I plant this impregnable justification. 
It will not do, in specious phrases, to allege 
the right of every State to be free in its do- 
mestic policy from foreign interference, and 
then to assume such wrongful interference by 
this Company. By the law and Constitution, 
we stand or fall ; and that law and Constitu- 
tion we have in no respect offended. 

To cloak the overthrow of all law in Kansas, 
an assumption is now set up, which utterly 
denies one of the plainest rights of the people 
everywhere. Sir, I beg Senators to under- 
stand that this is a government of laws ; and 
that, under these laws, the people have an 
incontestible right to settle any portion of our 
broad territory, and if they choose, to propa- 
gate any opinions there, not openly forbidden 
by the laws. If this were not so, pray, sir, 
by what title is the Senator from Illinois, who 
is an emigrant from Vermont, propagating 
his disastrous opinions in another State? 
Surely he has no monopoly of this right. 
Others may do what he is doing ; nor can the 
right be in any way restrained. It is as broad 
as the people ; and it matters not whether 
they go in numbers small or great, with 
assistance or without assistance, under the 
auspices of societies or not under such auspices. 
If tins were not so, then, by what title are so 
many foreigners annually naturalized, under 
Democratic auspices, in order to secure their 



votes for nismaned Democratic principles ? And 
if capital as well as combination cannot be 
employed, by what title do venerable associa- 
tions exist, of ampler means and longer dura- 
tion than any Emigrant Aid Company, around 
which cluster the regard and confidence of 
the country — the Tract Society, a powerful 
corporation, which scatters its publications 
freely in every corner of the land — the Bible 
Society, an incorporated body, with large 
resources, which seeks to carry the Book of 
Life alike into Territories and States — the 
Missionary Society, also an incorporated 
body, with large resources, which sends its 
agents every where, at home and in foreign 
lands? 

By what title do all these exist ? Nay, sir, 
by what title does an Insurance Company 
in New York send its agent to open an office 
in New Orleans, and by what title does Mas- 
sachusetts capital contribute to the Hannibal 
and St. Joseph Railroad in Missouri, and also 
to the copper mines of Michigan ? The Sena- 
tor inveighs against the Native American 
party ; but his own principle is narrower than 
any attributed to them. They object to the 
influence of emigrants from abroad : he objects 
to the influence of American citizens at home, 
when exerted in States or Territories where 
they were not born ! The whole assumption 
is too audacious for respectful argument. But 
since a great right has been denied, the chil- 
dren of the Free States, over whose cradles 
has shone the North Star, owe it to them- 
selves, to their ancestors, and to Freedom 
itself, that this right should now be asserted to 
the fullest extent. By the blessing of God, 
and under the continued protection of the 
laws, they will go to Kansas, there to plant 
their homes, in the hope of elevating this Ter- 
ritory soon into the sisterhood of Free States; 
and to such end they will not hesitate, in the 
employment of all legitimate means, whether 
by companies of men or contributions of 
money, to swell a virtuous emigration, and 
they will justly scout any attempt to question 
this unquestionable right. Sir, if they failed 
to do this, they woidd be fit only for slaves 
themselves. 

God be praised ! Massachusetts, honored 
Commonwealth that gives me the privilege to 
plead for Kansas on this floor, knows her 
rights, and will maintain them firmly to the 
end. This is not the first time in history, that 
her public acts have been arraigned, and that 
her public men have been exposed to contume- 
ly. Thus was it when, in the olden time, she 
began the great battle whose fruits you all 
enjoy. But never yet has 3he occupied a po- 
sition so lofty as at this hour. By the intelli- 
gence of her population — by the resources of 
her industry — by her commerce, cleaving 
every wave — by her manufactures, various as 



22 



human skill — by her institutions of education, 
various as human knowledge — by her insti- 
tutions of benevolence, various as human suf- 
fering — by the pages of her scholars and his- 
torians — by the voices of her poets and ora- 
tors, she is now exerting an influence more 
subtile and commanding than ever before — 
shooting her far-darting rays wherever igno- 
rance, wretchedness, or wrong, prevail, and 
flashing light even upon those who travel far 
to persecute her. Such is Massachusetts, and 
I am proud to believe that you may as well 
attempt, with puny arm, to topple down the 
earth-rooted, heaven-kissing granite which 
crowns the historic sod of Bunker Hill, as 
to change her fixed resolves for Freedom every- 
where, and especially now for freedom in Kan- 
sas. I exult, too, that in this battle, which 
surpasses far in moral grandeur the whole war 
of the Revolution, she is able to preserve her 
just eminence. To the first she contributed a 
larger number of troops than any other State 
in the Union, and larger than all the Slave 
States together; and now to the second, which 
is not of contending armies, but of contending 
opinions, on whose issue hangs trembling the 
advancing civilization of the country, she con- 
tributes, through the manifold and endless 
intellectual activity of her children, more of 
that divine spark by which opinions are 
quickened into life, than is contributed by any 
other State, or by all the Slave States toge- 
ther, while her annual productive industry 
excels in value three times the whole vaunted 
cotton crop of the whole South. 

Sir, to men on earth it -belongs only to de- 
serve success; not to secure it; and I know 
not how soon the efforts of Massachusetts will 
wear the crown of triumph. But it cannot 
be that she acts wrong for herself or children, 
when in this cause she thus encounters re- 
proach. No ; by the generous souls who were 
exposed at Lexington; by those who stood 
arrayed at Bunker Hill; by the many from 
her bosom who, on all the fields of the first 
great struggle, lent their vigorous arms to the 
cause of all ; by the children she has borne, 
whose names alone are national trophies, is 
Massachusetts now vowed irrevocably to this 
work. What belongs to the faithful servant 
she will do in all things, and Providence shall 
determine the result. 

And here ends what I have to say of the 
four Apologies for the Crime against Kansas. 

Having spoken three hours, he yielded to a 
motion to adjourn. Tuesday he concluded thus: 

III. From this ample survey, where one ob- 
struction after another has been removed, I 
now pass, in the third place, to the considera- 
tion of the various remedies proposed, ending 
with the True Remedy. 

The Remedy should be co-extensive with 



the original "Wrong; and since, by the passage 
of the Nebraska Bill, not only Kansas, but 
also Nebraska, Minnesota, "Washington, and 
even Oregon, have been opened to Slavery, 
the original Prohibition should be restored to 
its complete activity throughout these various 
Territories. By such a happy restoration, 
made in good faith, the whole country would 
be replaced in the condition which it enjoyed 
before the introduction of that dishonest 
measure. Here is the Alpha and the Omega 
of our aim in this controversy. But no such 
extensive measure is now in question. The 
Crime against Kansas had been special, and all 
else is absorbed in tiie special remedies for it. 
Of these I shall now speak. 

As the Apologies were four-fold, so are the 
Remedies proposed four-fold, and they range 
themselves in natural order, under designa- 
tions which so truly disclose their character as 
even to supersede argument. First, we have 
the Remedy of Tyranny ; next, the Remedy 
of Folly; next, the remedy of Injustice and 
Civil War ; and fourthly, the Remedy of Jus- 
tice and Peace. These are the four caskets ; 
and you are to determine which shall be open- 
ed by Senatorial votes. 

There is the Remedy of Tyranny, which, 
like its complement, the Apology of Tyranny 
— though espoused on this floor, especially by 
the Senator from Illinois — proceeds from the 
President, and is embodied in a special mes- 
sage. It proposes to enforce obedience to the 
existing laws of Kansas, "whether Federal or 
local" when, in fact, Kansas has no "local*' 
laws, except those imposed by the Usurpation 
from Missouri, and it calls tor additional 
appropriations to complete this work of 
tyranny. 

I shall not follow the President in his 
elaborate endeavor to prejudge the contested 
election now pending in the House of Repre- 
sentatives; for this whole matter belongs to 
the privileges of that body, and neither the 
President nor the Senate has a right to inter- 
meddle therewith. I do not touch it. But 
now, while dismissing it, I should not pardon 
myself, if I failed to add, that any pei^on 
who founds his claim to a seat in Congress on 
the pretended votes of hirelings from another 
State, with no home on the soil of Kansas, 
plays the part of Anacharsis Clootz, who, at 
the bar of the French convention, undertook 
to represent nations that knew him not, or, if 
they knew him, scorned him; with this differ- 
ence, that in our American case, the excessive 
farce of the transaction cannot cover its 
tragedy. But all this 1 put aside — to deal only 
with what is legitimately before the Senate. 

I expose simply the Tyranny which upholds 
the existing Usurpation, aud asks for addi- 



23 



tional appropriations. Let it be judged by an 
example, from which in this country there 
can be no appeal. Here is the speech of 
George III., made from the Throne to Parlia- 
ment, in response to the complaints of the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay, which, though 
smarting under laws passed by usurped power, 
had yet avoided all armed opposition, while 
Lexington and Bunker Hill still slumbered in 
rural solitude, unconscious of the historic 
kindred which they were soon to claim. 
Instead of Massachusetts Bay, in the Eoyal 
speech, substitute Kansas, and the message of 
the President will be found fresh on the lips 
of the British King. Listen now to the 
words, which, in opening Parliament, 30th of 
November, 1774, his majesty, according to 
the official report, was pleased to speak : 

" My Lords and Gentlemen : 

" It give9 me much concern that I am obliged, at the 
opening of this Parliament, to inform you that a most daring 
Spirit n/ resistance and disobedience to the law still unhap- 
pily prevails in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and 
lias in divers parts of it broke forth in fresh violences of a 
Very criminal nature. These proceedings have been counte- 
nanced in other of my Colo?iies, and unwarrantable 
attempts have been made to obstruct the Commerce of this 
Kingdom., by unlawful combinations. I have taken such 
measures and given such orders as I have judged most 
proper and effectuaiyb/' carrying into execution the laws 
which were passed, in the last session of the late Parlia- 
ment, for the protection and security of the Commerce of 
my subjects, and for the restoring and preserving peace, 
order, and good government, in the Province of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay." — American Arch., 4th series, vol. 1, p. 1465. 

The King complained of a "daring spirit of 
resistance and disobedience to the law ;" so also 
does the President. The King adds, that it 
has "broke forth in fresh violence of a very 
criminal nature;" so also does the President. 
The King declares that these proceedings 
have been "countenanced and encouraged in 
other of my Colonies;" even so the President 
declares that Kansas has found sympathy in 
"remote States." The King inveighs against 
" unwarrantable measures " and " unlawful co ta- 
bulations;" even so inveighs the President. 
The King proclaims that he has taken the 
necessary steps "for carrying into execution 
the laws,'" passed in defiance of the constitu- 
tional rights of the colonies; even so the 
President proclaims that he shall "exert the 
whole power of the Federal Executive" to 
support the Usurpation in Kansas. The paral- 
lel is complete. The Message, if not copied 
from the Speech of the King, has been 
fashioned on the same original block, and 
must be dismissed to the same limbo. I dis- 
miss its tyrannical asumptions in favor of the 
Usurpation. I dismiss also the petition for 
additional appropriations in the affected desire 
to maintain order in Kansas. It is not money 
or troops that you need there; but simply the 
good will of the President. That is all, 
absolutely. Let his complicity with the Crime 
cease, and peace will be restored. For my- 



self, I will not consent to wad the National 
artillery with fresh appropriation bills, when 
its murderous hail is to be directed against the 
constitutional rights of my fellow-citizens. 

Next comes the Remedy of Folly, which, 
indeed, is also a Remedy of Tyranny ; but its 
Folly is so surpassing as to eclipse even its 
Tyranny. It does not proceed from the Presi- 
dent. "With this proposition he is not in any 
way chargeable. It comes from the Senator 
from South Carolina, who, at the close of 
a long speech, offered it as his single contribu- 
tion to the adjustment of this question, and 
who thus far stands alone in its support. It 
might, therefore, fitly bear his name; but that 
which I now give to it is a more suggestive 
synonym. 

This proposition, nakedly expressed, is that 
the people of Kansas should be deprived of 
their arms. That I may not do the least 
injustice to the Senator, I quote his precise 
words : 

"The President of the United States is under the highest 
and most solemn obligations to interpose; and if I were to 
indicate the manner in which he should interpose in Kan- 
sas, I would point out the old common law process. I 
would serve a warrant on Sharpe's rilles, and if Sharpe's 
rifles did not answer the summons, and come into court on 
a day certain, or if they resisted the sheriff, I would sum- 
mon the posse comitatus, and would have Colonel Sumuer'a 
regiment to be a part of that posse comitatus." 

Really, sir, has it come to this ? The rifle 
has ever been the companion of the pioneer, 
and, under God, his tutelary protector against 
the red man and. the beast of the forest. 
Never was this efficient weapon more needed 
in just self-defence, than now in Kansas, and 
at least one article in our National Constitu- 
tion must be blotted out, before the complete 
right to it can in any way be impeached. 
And yet, such is the madness of the hour, 
that, in defiance of the solemn guarantee, 
embodied in the Amendments to the Constitu- 
tion, that " the right of the people to keep 
and bear arms shall not be infringed," the 
people of Kansas have been arraigned for 
keeping and bearing them, and the Senator 
from South Carolina has had the face to say 
openly, on this floor, that they should be dis- 
armed — of course, that the fanatics of Slavery, 
his allies and constituents, may meet no 
impediment. Sir, the Senator is venerable 
with years; he is reputed also to have worn 
at home, in the State whicli he represents, 
judicial honors; and he is placed here at the 
head of an important committee occupied par- 
ticularly with questions of law ; but neither 
his years nor his position, past or present, can 
give respectability to the demand he has 
made, or save him from indignant condemna- 
tion, when, to compass the wretched purposes 
of a wretched cause, he thus proposes to tram- 



24 



pie on one of the plainest provisions of consti- 
tutional liberty. 

Next comes the Remedy of Injustice and 
Civil War — organized by Act of Congress. 
This proposition, which is also an offshoot of 
the original Remedy of Tyranny, proceeds 
from the Senator from Illinois, [Mr. Douglas] 
with the sanction of the Committee on Terri- 
tories, and is embodied in the bill which is 
now pressed to a vote. 

By this Bill, it is proposed as follows : 

" That whenever it shall appear, by a census, to be taken 
under the direction of the Governor, by the authority of the 
Legislature, that there shall be 93,420 inhabitants (that 
being the number required by the present ratio of represen- 
tation for a member of Congress) within the limits hereafter 
described as the Territory of Kansas, the Legislature of 
said Territory shall be, and is hereby authorized to pro- 
ride by law for the election of delegate*, by the people of 
said Territory, to assemble in Convention, and form a Con- 
stitution and State Government, preparatory to their ad- 
mission into the Union, on an equal footing with the origi- 
nal States, in all respects whatsoever, by the name of the 
State of Kansas." 

Now, sir, consider these words carefully, 
and you will see that, however plausible aud 
velvet-pawed they may seem, yet in reality 
they are most unjust and cruel. While affect- 
ing to initiate honest proceedings for the for- 
mation of a State, they furnish to this Terri- 
tory no redress for the crime under which it 
suffers ; nay, they recognize the very Usurpa- 
tion in which the crime ended, and proceed to 
endow it with new prerogatives. It is by the 
authority of the Legislature that the census is 
to be taken, which is the first step in the 
work. It is also by the authority of the 
Legislature that a Convention is to be called 
for the formation of a Constitution, which is 
the second step. But the Legislature is m>t 
obliged to take either of these steps. To its 
absolute willfulness is it left to act or not to 
act in the premises. And since, in the ordi- 
nary course of business, there can b6 no action 
of the Legislature till January of the next 
year, all these steps, which are preliminary in 
their character, are postponed till after that 
distant day — thus keeping this great question 
open, to distract and irritate the country. 
Clearly, this is not what is required. The 
country desires peace at once, and is deter- 
mined to have it. But this objection is slight 
by the side of the glaring Tyranny, that, -in 
recognizing the Legislature, and conferring 
upon it these new powers, the Bill recognizes 
the existing Usurpation, not only as the 
authentic Government of the Territory for the 
time being, but also as possessing a creative 
power to reproduce itself in the new State. 
Pass this Bill, and you enlist Congress in the 
conspiracy, not only to keep the people of 
Kansas in their present subjugation, through- 
out their territorial existence, but abo to pro- 
tract this subjugation into their existence as a 
State, while you legalize and perpetuate the 



very force by which Slavery has been already 
planted there. 

I know that there is another deceptive 
clause, which seems to throw certain safe- 
guards around the election of delegates to the 
Convention, when that Conventi&n shall be 
ordered by the Legislature ; but out of this 
very clause do I draw a condemnation of the 
Usurpation which the Bill recognizes. It pro- 
vides that the tests, coupled with the electoral 
franchise, shall not prevail in the election of 
delegates, and thus impliedly condemns them. 
But if they are not to prevail on this occasion, 
why are they permitted at the election of the 
Legislature? If they are unjust in the one 
case, they are unjust in the other. If annulled 
at the election of delegates, they should be 
annulled at the election of the Legislature : 
whereas the bill of the Senator leaves all of 
these offensive tests in full activity at the elec- 
tion of the very Legislature out of tchich this 
whole proceeding is to come, and it leaves the 
polls at both elections in the control of the offi- 
cers appointed by the Usurpation. Consider 
well the facts. By an existing statute, estab- 
lishing the Fugitive Slave Bill as a shibboleth, 
a large portion of the honest citizens are 
excluded from voting for the Legislature, 
while, by another statute, all who present 
themselves with the fee of one dollar, whether 
from Missouri or not, and who can utter this 
shibboleth, are entitled to vote. And it is a 
Legislature thus chosen, under tie auspices of 
officers appointed by the Usurpation, that you 
now propose to invest with the parental pow- 
ers to rear the Territory into a State. You 
recognize and confirm the Usurpation, which 
you ought to annul without delay. You put 
the infant State, now preparing to take a place 
in our sisterhood, to suckle with the wolf, 
which you ought at once to kill. The improb- 
able story of Bamn Munchausen is verified. 
The bear, which thrust itself into the harness 
of the horse it had devoured, and then whirled 
the sledge according to mere brutal bent, is 
recognized by this bill, and kept in its usurped 
place, when the safety of all requires that it 
should be shot. 

In characterizing this Bill as the Remedy of 
Injustice and Civil War, I give it a plain, self- 
evident title. It is a continuation of the Crime 
against Kansas, and as such deserves the same- 
condemnation. It can only be defended by 
those who defend the Crime. Sir, you cannot 
expect that the people of Kansas will submit to 
the Usurpation which this bill sets up, and bids 
them bow before — as the Austrian tyrant set 
up his cap in the Swiss market-place. If you 
madly persevere, Kansas will not be without 
her William Tell, who will refuse at all hazards 
to recognize the tyrannical edict; aud this will 
be the beginning of civil war. 

Next, and lastly, comes the Remedy of Jua- 



25 



tice and Peace, proposed by the Senator from 
New York, [Mr. Seward,] aud embodied in his 
Bill for the immediate admission of Kansas as 
a State of this Union, now pending as a sub- 
stitute for the bill of the Senator from Illinois. 
This is sustained by the prayer of the people 
of the Territory, setting forth a Constitution 
formed by a spontaneous movement, in which 
all there had opportunity to participate, without 
distinction of party. Karely has any proposi- 
tion, so simple in character, so entirely prac- 
ticable, so absolutely within your power, been 
presented, which promised at once such 
beneficent results. In its adoption, the Crime 
against Kansas will be all happily absolved, the 
Usurpation which it established will be peace- 
fully suppressed, and order will be permanently 
secured. By a joyful metamorphosis, this fair 
Territory may be saved from outrage. 

" Oh help," she cries, " in this extremest need, 

If you who hear are Deities indeed ; 

Gape earth, and make for this dread foe a tomb. 

Or change my form, ichence all my sorrows come." 

In offering this proposition, the Senator from New York 
has entitled himself to the gratitude of the country. He 
has, throughout a life of unsurpassed industry, and of emi- 
nent ability, done much for Freedom, which the world will 
not let die; but he has done nothing more opportune than 
this, and he has uttered no words more effective than the 
speech, so masterly and ingenious, by which he has vindi- 
cated it. 

Kansas now presents herself for admission with a Consti- 
tution republican in form. And, independent of the great 
necessity of the case, three considerations of fact concur in 
commending her. First, she thus testifies her willingness 
to relieve the Federal Government of the considerable 
pecuniary responsibility to which it is now exposed, on 
account of the pretended Territorial Government. Second- 
ly, she has, by her recent conduct, particularly in repelling 
the invasion at Wakarusa, evinced an ability to defend her 
Government. And, thirdly, by the pecuniary credit which 
she now enjoys, she shows an undoubted ability to support 
it. What now can stand in her way ? 

The power of Congress to admit Kansas at once is expli- 
cit. It is found in a single clause of the Constitution, 
which, standing by itself, without any qualification applica- 
ble to the present case, and without doubtful words, 
requires no commentary. Here it is : 

" New States may be admitted by Congress into this 
Union, but no new State shall be formed or erected within 
the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed 
by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, 
without the consent of the Legislatures of the States con- 
cerned, as well as of the Congress." 

New States may be admitted. Out of that little word, 
mat/, comes the power, broadly and fully— without any 
limitation founded on population or preliminary forms — 
provided the State is not within the jurisdiction of another 
State, nor formed by the junction of two or more States, or 
parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of 
the States. Kansas is not within the legal jurisdiction of 
another State, although the laws of Missouri have been 
tyrannically extended over her; nor is Kansas formed by 
the junction of two or more States ; and, therefore, Kansas 
may be admitted by Congress into the Union, without 
regard to population or preliminary forms. You cannot 
deny the power without obliterating this clause of the Con- 
stitution. The Senator from New York was right in reject- 
ing all appeal to precedents, as entirely irrelevant; for the 
power invoked is clear and express in the Constitution, 
which is above all precedent. But, since precedent has 
been enlisted, let us look at precedent. 

It is objected that the papulation of Kansas is not suffi- 
cient for a State ; and this objection is sustained by under- 
reckoning the numbers there, and exaggerating the num- 
bers required by precedent. In the absence of any recent 
census, it is impossible to do more than approximate to the 



actual population; but, from careful inquiry »f the best 
sources, I am led to place it now at fifty thousand, though 
I observe that a prudent authority, the Boston Daily Ad- 
vertiser, puts it as high as sixty thousand, and, while I 
speak, this remarkable population, fed by fresh emigration, 
is outstripping even these calculations. Nor can there be 
a doubt, that, before the assent of Congress can be per- 
fected in the ordinary course of legislation, this population 
will swell to the large number of ninety-three thousand four 
hundred and twenty, required in the Bill of the Senator 
from Illinois. But, in making this number the condition 
of the admission of Kansas, you set up an extraordinary 
standard. There is nothing out of which it can be derived, 
from the beginning to the end of the precedents. Going 
back to the days of the Continental Congress, you will find 
that, In 1784, it was declared that twenty thousand free- 
men in a Territory might " establish a permanent Constitu- 
tion and Government for themselves," (Journals of Con- 
gress, Vol. 4, p. 879 ;) and, though this number was after- 
wards, in the Ordinance of 1787 for the Northwestern Ter- 
ritory, raised to sixty thousand, yet the power was left in 
Congress, and subsequently exercised in more than one 
instance, to constitute a State with a smaller number. Out 
of all the new States, only Maine, Wisconsin, and Texas, 
contained, at the time of their admission into the Union, so 
large a population as it is proposed to require in Kansas : 
while no less than fourteen new States have been admitted 
with a smaller population ; as will appear in the following 
list, which is the result of research, showing the number of 
" free inhabitants " in these States at the time of the pro- 
ceedings which ended in their admission : 

Vermont 85,414 Illinois 45,000 

Kentucky 61,103 Missouri 56,5S6 

Tennessee 66,649 Arkansas 41,000 

Ohio 50,000 Michigan 92,673 

Louisiana 41,890 Florida 27,091 

Indiana 60,000 Iowa Sl.9'21 

Mississippi 35,000 California 92,597 

Alabama 50,000 

But this is not all. At the adoption of the Federal Con- 
stitution, there were three of the old Thirteen States whose 
respective populations did not reach the amount now 
required for Kansas. These were Delaware, with a popu- 
lation of 59,i'9tj ; Rhode Island, with a population of 64,689 ; 
and Georgia, with a population of S2.54S. And even now, 
while I speak, there are at least two States, with Senators 
on this floor, which, according to the last census, do not 
contain the population no* required of Kansas. I refer to 
Delaware, with a population of 91,635, and Florida, with a 
population of freemen amounting only to 47,203. So much 
for precedents of population. 

But in sustaining this objection, it is not uncommon to 
depart from the strict rule of numerical precedent, by sug- 
gesting that the population required in a new State has 
always been, in point of fact, above the existing ratio 
of representation for a member of the House of Representa- 
tives. But this is not true; for at least one State, Florida, 
was admitted with a population below this ratio, which at 
the time was 70,630. So much, again, for precedents. But 
even if this coincidence were complete, it would be impos- 
sible to press it into a binding precedent. The rule seem3 
reasonable, and, in ordinary cases, would not be question- 
ed ; but it cannot be drawn or implied from the Constitu- 
tion. Besides, this ratio is, in itself, a sliding scale. At 
first, it was 33,000, and thus continued till 1811, when 
it was put at 35,000. In 1S22, it was 40,000 ; in 1832, it was 
47,700 ; in 1842, it was 70,6S0 ; and now, it is 93,420. If any 
ratio is to be made the foundation of a binding rul», it 
should be that which prevailed at the adoption of the Con- 
stitution, and which still continued, when Kansas, as apart 
of Louisiana, was acquired from France, under solemn sti- 
pulation that it should "be incorporated into the Union of 
the United States as soon as may be consistent with the 
principles of the Federal Constitution." But this whole ob- 
jection is met by the memorial of the people of Florida, 
which, if good for that State, is also good for Kansas. Here 
is a passage : 

"But the people of Florida respectfully insist that their 
right to be admitted into the Federal Union as a State is 
not dependent upon the fact of their having a population 
equal to such ratio. Their right to admission, it is con- 
ceived, is guarantied by the express pledge in the sixth 
article of the treaty before quoted ; and if any rule as to 
the number of the population is to govern, it should be that 
in existence at the time of the cession, which was thirty- 



26 



five thousand. They submit, however, that any ratio of 
representation, dependent upon legislative action, based 
solely on convenience and expediency, shifting and vacil- 
lating as the opinion of a majority of Congress may make it, 
now greater than at a previous apportionment, but which a 
future Congress may prescribe to be less, caunot be one of 
the constitutional ' principles ' referred to in the treat", 
consistency with which, by its terms, is required. It is, fn 
truth, but a mere regulation, not founded on principle. No 
specified number of population is required by any recog- 
nized principle as necessary to the establishment of a free 
Government. 

"It is in nowise 'inconsistent with the principles of the 
Federal Constitution,' that the population of a State should 
be less than the ratio of Congressional representation. The 
very case is provided for in the Constitution. With such 
deficient population, she would be entitled to one Repre- 
sentative. If any event should cause a decrease of the 
population of one of the States even to a number below the 
minimum ratio of representation prescribed by the Consti- 
tution, she would still remain a member of the Confederacy, 
and be entitled to such Representative. It is respectfully 
urged, that a rule or principle which would not justify the 
expulsion of a State with a deficient population, on the 
ground of inconsistency with the Constitution, should not 
exclude or prohibit admission."— Ex. Doc, 2Wi Cong . 2d 
S68S., Vol. 4, No. 2u6. 

Thus, sir, do the people of Florida plead for the people of 
Kansas. 

Distrusting the objection from inadequacy of population, 
it is said that the proceedings for the formation of a new 
Stato are fatally defective in form. It is not asserted that a 
previous enabling Act of Congress is indispensable ; for 
there are notorious precedents the other way, among which 
are Kentucky in 1791 ; Tennesr.ee in 1796; Maine in 1S20^ 
and Arkansas and Michigan in 1S86. But it is urged that 
in no instance has a State been admitted, whose Constitu- 
tion was formed without such enabling Act, or without the 
authority of the Territorial Legislature. This is not true; 
for California came into the Union with a Constitution 
formed nut only without any previous enabling Act, but also 
without any sanction from a Territorial Legislature. The 
proceedings which ended in this Constitution were initiated 
by the military Governor there, acting under the exigency 
of the hour. This instance may not be identical in all 
respects with that of Kansas ; but it displaces completely 
one of the assumptions which Kansas now encounters, and 
It also shows completely the disposition to relax all rule, 
under the exigency of the hour, in order to do substantial 
justice. 

But there is a memorable instance, which contains in 
Itself every element of irregularity which you denounce in 
the proceedin.'s of Kansas. Michigan, now cherished with 
such pride as a sister State, achieved admission into the 
Union in persistent defiance of all rule. Bo you a>k for 
precedents? Here is a precedent for the largest latitude, 
which you, who profess a deference to precedent, cannot 
disown. Mark now the stages of this case. The first pro- 
ceedings of Michigan were without any previous enabling 
Act of Congress ; and she presented herself at your door 
with a Constitution thus formed, and with Senators chosen 
under that Constitution — precisely as Kansas now. This 
was in December, 1835, while Andrew Jackson was Presi- 
dent. By the leaders of the Democracy at that time, all 
objection for alleged defects of form was scouted, anil 
language was employed which is strictly applicable to 
Kansas. There is nothing new under the sun ; and the 
very objection of the President, that the application of 
Kansas proceeds from " persons acting against authorities 
duly constituted by Act of Congress," was hurled against 
the application of Michigan, in debate on this floor, by Mr. 
Hendricks of Indiana. This was his language : 

" But the people of Michigan, in presenting their Senate 
and House of Representatives as the legislative power 
existing there, showed that they had trampled upon and 
violated the laws of the United States, establishing a Terri- 
torial Government in Michigan. These laws were, or ought 
to be, in full force there ; but by the character and position 
assumed, they had set up a Government antagonistic to that 
of the United States."— Congress Deb.. 2\th Conn., 1st ecss , 
Vol. 12, p. 28S. 

To this impeachment, Mr. Benton replied in these effective 
words : 

" Conventions were original acts of the people. They 
Impended upon inherent and inalienable rights. The 



people of any State may at any time meet In Convention, 
without a law of their Legislature, and without any pro- 
vision, or against any provision in their Constitution, and 
may alter or abolish the whole frame of Government as 
they please. The sovereign power to govern themselves 
was in the majority, and they could not be divested of it " 
—Ibid., p. 1036. 

Mr. Buchanan vied with Mr. Benton in vindicating the 
now State: 

" The precedent in the case of Tennessee has completely 
silenced all opposition in regard to the necessity of a pre- 
vious act of Congress to enable the people of Michigan to 
form a State Constitution. It now seems to be conceded 
that our subsequent approbation is equivalent to our pre- 
vious action. This can no longer be doubted. We have 
the unquestionable power of waiving any irregularities in 
the mode of framing the Constitution, had any such ex- 
isted." — Ibid., p. 1041, 

" He did hope that by this bill all objections would be re- 
moved ; and that this State, so ready to rush into our arms, 
would not be repulsed, because of the absence of some form- 
alities, which perhaps were very proper, but certainly not 
indispensable."— Ibid., p. 1015. 

After an animated contest in the Senate, the Bill for the 
admission of Michigan, on her assent to certain conditions, 
was passed, by 28 yeas to 8 nays. But you find weight, as 
well as numbers, on the side of the new State. Among the 
yeas were Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri ; James Buchan- 
an, of Pennsylvania; Silas Wright, of New York; W. R. 
King, of Alabama. (Cong. Globe, Vol. 3, p. 276, 1st session 
24th Cong.) Subsequently, on motion of Mr. Buchanan, the 
two gentlemen sent as Senators by the new State, received 
the regular compensation for attendance throughout the 
very session in which their seats had been so acrimoniously 
assailed. (Ibid., p. 44S ) 

In the House of Representatives, the application was 
equally successful. The Committee on the Judiciary, in an 
elaborate report, reviewed the objections, and, among other 
things, said: 

" That the people of Michigan have, without due author- 
ity, formed a State Government, but, nevertheless, that 
i bngrew has power t<> wave* any objection wMch might, 
Oil th.it account, be entertained, to the ratification of the 
Constitution which they have adopted, and to admit their 
Senators and Representatives to take their seats in the Co n- 
- I BBS of the United States."— Ex. Doc, 1st sea*., 'litk < on- 
gress, Vol. 3, No. 380. 

The House sustained this view by a vote of 153 yeas to 45 
nays. In this large majority, by which the title of Michigan 
was then recognized, will lie found the name of Franklin 
Pierce, at that time a Representative from New Hampshire. 

But the case was not ended. The fiercest trial and the 
greatest irregularity remained. The Act providing for the 
admission of the new State, contained a modification of its 
boundaries, and proceeded to require, as a. fundamental 
condition, that these should "receive the assent of a Con- 
vention of delegates, elected by the people of the said State, 
for the sole purpose of giving the assent herein required." 
(Statutes at Large, Vol. 5, p. 50, Act of June 5, 1S86.) Such 
a Convention, duly elected under a call from the Legisla- 
ture, met in pursuance of law, and, after consideration, de- 
clined to come into the Union on the condition proposed. 
But the action of this Convention was not universally sat- 
isfactory ; and in order to effect an admission into the 
Union, another Convention was called professedly by the 
people, in their sovereign capacity, without any authority 
from State or Territorial Legislature ; nay, sir, according to 
the language of the present President, " against authorities 
duly constituted by Act of Congress ;" at least as much as 
the recent Convention in Kansas. The irregularity of this 
Convention was increased by the circumstance, that two of 
the oldest counties of the State, comprising a population of 
some twenty-five thousand souls, refused to take any part 
in it, even to the extent of not opening the polls for the 
election of delegates, claiming that it was held without war- 
rant of law, and in defiance of the legal Convention. This 
popular Convention, though wanting a popular support co- 
extensive with the State, yet proceeded, by formal act, to 
give the assent of the people of Michigan to the fundamen- 
tal condition proposed by Congress. 

The proceedings of the two Conventions were transmit- 
ted to President Jackson, who, by message, dated 27th 
December, 1S36, laid them both before Congress, indicating 



27 



very clearly his desire to ascertain the will of the people, 
without regard tv. form. The origin of the popular Conven- 
tion he thus describes : 

"This Convention was not held or elected by virtue of 
any act of the Territorial or State Legislature. It origi- 
nated from the People themselves, and was chosen by them 
in pursuance of resolutions adopted in primary assemblies 
held in the respective counties." — 3e?i. Doc. 2d se*s. '2ith 
Cong., vol. 1, No. 86. 

And he then declares that, had these proceedings come to 
him during the recess of Congress, he should have felt it 
his duty, on being satisfied that they emanated from a Con- 
vention of delegates elected in point offtict by the Peopile 
of the State, to issue his proclamation for the admission of 
the State. 

The Committee on the Judiciary in the Senate, of which 
Felix Grundy was Chairman, after inquiry, recognized the 
competency of the popular Convention, as " elected by the 
people of the State of Michigan," and reported a Bill, re- 
sponsive to their assent of the proposed condition, for the 
admission of the State without further condition. (Statutes 
at Large, vol. 5, p. 144, Act of 26th Jan., 1837.) Then, sir, 
appeared the very objections which are now directed 
against Kansas. It was complained that the movement for 
immediate admission was the work of a " minority," and 
that " a great majority of the State feel otherwise." (Sen. 
Doc, 2d sess. 24th Con., vol. 1, No. 37.) And a leading 
Senator, of great ability and integrity, Mr. Ewing of Ohio, 
broke forth iu a catechism which would do for the present 
hour. He exclaimed : 

" What evidence had the Senate of the organization of 
the Convention? Of the organization of the popular as- 
semblies who appointed their delegates to that Convention? 
None on earth. Who they were that met and voted, we 
had no information. Who gave the notice? And for 
what did the People receive the notice ? To meet and 
elect? What evidence was there that the Convention 
acted according to law ? Were the delegates sworn ? And, 
if so, they were extrajudicial oaths, and not binding upon 
them. Were the votes counted ? Iu fact, it was not a pro- 
ceeding under the forms of the law, for they were totally 
disregarded." — Cong. Globe, vol. 4, p. 60, 2d sess. 24lh 
Cong. 

And the same able Senator, on another occasion, after ex- 
posing the imperfect evidence with regard to the action of 
the Convention, existing only in letters and in an article 
from a Detroit newspaper, again exclaimed : 

" This, sir, is the evidence to support an organic law of a 
new State about to enter into the Union? Yes of an 
organic law, the very highest act a community of men 
cau perform. Letters referring to other letters and a 
scrap of a newspaper." — Cong. Debates, vol. 13, part I, p. 
233. 

It was Mr. Calhoun, however, who pressed the opposition 
with the most persevering intensity. In his sight, the ad- 
mission of Michigan, under the circumstances, " would be 
the most montrous proceeding under our Constitution that 
can be conceived, the most repugnant to its principles, and 
dangerous in its consequences." (Cong. Debates, vol. 13, p. 
210.) " There is not," he exclaimed, " one particle of offi- 
c.al evidence before us. We have nothing but the private 
letters of individuals, who do not know even the numbers 
that voted on either occasion. They know nothing of the 
qualifications of voters, nor how their votes were received, 
uor by whom counted." {Ibid.) And he proceeded to 
characterize the popular Convention as " not only a party 
caucus, for party purpose, but a criminal meeting — a meet- 
ing to subvert the authority of the State and to assume its 
sovereignty" — adding "that the actors in that meeting 
might be indicted, tried, and punished" — and he express>-d 
astonishment that " a self-created meeting, convened for a 
criminal objeot, had dared to present to this Government 
an act of theirs, and to expect that we are to receive this 
irregular and criminal act as a fulfillment of the condition 
which we had presented for the admission of the State !" 
{Ibid,, p. 299.) No stronger words have been employed 
against Kansas. 

But the single question, on which all the proceedings then 
hinged, and which is as pertinent in the case of Kansas as 
in the case of Michigan, was put by Mr. Morris of Ohio — 
{Ibid., p. 215)—" Will Congress recognize as valid, con- 
stituiion-al, and obligatory, without the color of a law of 



.Vichi//an to 8it8tai7i it, an act done by the People of that 
State in their primary umembliex, and acbn&wledgt 
that act as obligatory on the constituted authorities and 
Legislature of the State f" This question, thus distinctly 
presented, was answered in debate by able Senators, among 
whom were Mr. Benton and Mr. King. But there was one 
person, who has since enjoyed much public confidence, and 
has left many memorials of an industrious career In the 
Senate and in diplomatic life, James Buchanan, who ren- 
dered himself conspicuous by the ability and ardor with 
which, against all assaults, he upheld the cause of the popu- 
lar Convention, which was so strongly denounced, and the 
entire conformity of its proceedings with the genius of 
American Institutions. His speeches on that occasion 
contain an unanswerable argument, at all points, m-ulato 
nomine, for the immediate admission of Kansas under her 
present Constitution : nor is there anything by which he is 
now distinguished that will redound so truly to his fame — 
if he only continues true to them. But the question was 
emphatically answered in the Senate by the final vote on 
the passage of the Bill, where we find twenty-five yeas to 
only ten nay3. In the House of Representatives, after 
debate, the question was answered in the same way, by a 
vote of one hundred and forty-eight yeas to fifty-eight nays ; 
and among the yeas is again the name of Franklin Pierce, 
a Representative from New Hampshire. 

Thus, in that day, by such triumphant votes, did the 
cause of Kansas prevail in the name of Michigan. A popu- 
lar Convention — called absolutely without authority, and 
containing delegates from a portion only of the population 
— called, too, in opposition to constituted authorities, and 
in derogation of another Convention assembled under the 
forms of law — stigmatized as a caucus and a criminal 
meeting, whose authors were liable to indictment, trial, and 
punishment — was, after ample debate, recognized by Con- 
gress as valid, and Michigan now holds her place in the 
Union, and her Senators sit on this floor by virtue of that 
act. Sir, if Michigan is legitimate, Kansas cannot be ille- 
gitimate. You bastardize Michigan when you refuse to 
recognize Kansas. 

Again, I say, do you require a precedent? I give it to 
you. But I will not stake this cause on any precedent. 1 
plant it firmly on the fundamental principle of American 
Institutions, so embodied in the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, by which Government is recognized as deriving its 
just powers only from the consent of the governed, who 
may alter or abolish it when it becomes destructive of their 
rights. In the debate on the Nebraska Bill, at the over- 
throw of the Prohibition of Slavery, the Declaraton of In- 
dependence was denounced as a "self-evident lie." It is 
only by a similar audacity that the fundamental principle, 
which sustains the proceedings in Kansas.can be assailed. 
Nay, more ; you must disown the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and adopt the Circular of the Holy Alliance, which 
declares that " useful and necessary changes in legislation 
and in the administration of States oughtonly to emanate 
from the free will and the intelligent and well-weighed con- 
viction of those whom God has rendered responsible for 
power." Face to face, I put the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and the principle of the Holy Alliance, and bid 
them grapple ! " The one places the remedy in the hand3 
which feel the disorder; the other places the remedy in the 
hands which cause the disorder :" and when I thus truth- 
fully characterize them, I but adopt a sententious phrase 
from the Debates in the Virginia Convention, on the adop- 
tion of the Federal Constitution (3 Elliot's Debates, 107 — 
Mr. Corbin). And now these two principles, embodied in 
the rival propositions of the Senator from New York and 
the Senator from Illinois must grapple on this floor. 

Statesmen and judges, publicists and authors, with names 
of authority in American history, espouse and vindicate 
the American principle. Hand in hand they now stand 
around Kansas, and feel this new State lean on them for 
support. Of these I content myself with adducing two 
only, both from slaveholding Virginia, in days when 
Human Rights were not without support in that State. 
Listen to the language of St. George Tucker, the distinguish- 
ed commentator upon Blackstone, uttered from the bench 
in a judicial opinion : 

" The power of convening the legal Assemblies, or the 
ordinary constitutional Legislature, resided solely in the 
Executive. They could neither be chosen without writs issued 
by its authority, nor assemble, when chosen, but under the 
same authority. The Conventions, on the contrary, were 
chosen and assembled, either in pursuance of recommend- 
ations from Congress, or from their own bodies, or by the 
discretion and common consent of the people. They wero 



28 



held even whilst a legal Assembly existed. Witness the 
Convention held in Richmond, in March, 1775 ; after which 
period, the legal constitutional Assembly was convened in 
Williamsburg, by the Governor, Lord Dunmore " * * * 
" Yet a constitutional dependence on the British Govern- 
ment was never denied until the succeeding May." 
* * * " The Convention, then, was not the ordinary 
Legislature of Virginia. It was the body of the people, im- 
pelled to assemble from a sense of common danger, consulting 
for the common good, and acting in all tilings for the common 
safety." — Virginia Ones, 7u, 71, Kamper vs. Hawkins. 

Listen also to the language of James Madison : 

" That in all great changes of established government, 
forms ought to give way to substance ; that a rigid adher- 
ence in such cases to the forms would render nominal and 
nugatory the transcendent and precious right of the people 
' to abolish or alter their Government, as to them shall seem 
most likely to effect their safety and happiness.' " * * * 
" Nor can it have been forgotten that no little ill-timed 
scruples, no zeal for adhering to ordinary forms, icere 
anywhere seen, except in those who tcished to indulge 
under these masks their secret enmity to the substance 
contended for." — The Federalist, No. 40. 

Proceedings, thus sustained, I am unwilling to call revo- 
lutionary, although tliis term has the sanction of the Senator 
from New York. They are founded on an unquestionable 
American right, declared with Independence, confirmed by 
the blood of the fathers, and expounded by patriots, which 
cannot be impeached without impairing the liberties of all. 
On this head the language of Mr. Buchanan, in reply to 
Mr. Calhoun, is explicit : 

"Does the Senator [Mr. Calhoun] contend, then, that if, 
in one of the States of this Union, the Government be so 
organized as to utterly destroy the right of equal represen- 
tation, there is no mode of obtaining redress, but by an act 
of the Legislature authorizing a Convention, or by open re- 
bellion!' Must the people step at once from oppression to 
open war? Must it be either absolute submission or abso- 
lute revolution? Is there no middle course? I cannot 
agree with the Senator. I say that the whole history of our 
Government establishes the principle that the people are 
sovereign, and that a majority of them can alter or change 
their fundamental laws at pleasure. I deny that this is 
either rebellion or revolution. It is an essential and a re- 
cognized principle in all our forms of government." — Con- 
gress Deb., vol. 18, p. 313, 2ith Cong., 2d Session. 

Surely, sir, if ever there was occasion for the exercise of 
this right, the time has come in Kansas. The people there 
had been subjugated by a horde of foreign invaders, and 
brought under a tyrannical code of revolting barbarity. 
while property and life among them were left exposed t" 
audacious assaults which flaunted at noon-day, and to rep- 
tile abuses which crawled in the darkness of night. Self- 
defense is the first law of nature; and unless this law is 
temporarily silenced — as all other law has been silenced 
there — you cannot condemn the proceedings in Kansas. 
Here, sir, is an unquestionable authority — in itself an 
overwhelming law — which belongs to countries and times 
— which is the same in Kansas as at Athens and Rome — 
which is now, and will be hereafter, as it was in other 
days — in presence of which Acts of Congress and Con- 
stitutions are powerless, as the voice of man against the 
thunder which rolls through the sky — which whispers itself 
coeval with life — whose very breath is life itself; and now, 
in the last resort, do I place all these proceedings under this 
supreme safeguard, which you will assail in vain. Any op- 
position must be founded on a fundamental perversion of 
facts, or a perversion of fundamental principles, which no 
speeches can uphold, though surpassing in numbers the 
nine hundred thousand piles driven into the mud in order to 
sustain the Dutch Stadt-House at Amsterdam ! 

Thus, on every ground of precedent, whether as regards 
population or forms of proceedings; also on the vital prin- 
ciple of American institutions ; and, lastly, on the absolute 
law of self-defense, do I now invoke the power of Congress 
to admit Kansas at once and without hesitation into the 
Union. " New States may be admitted by the Congress into 
the Union;" such are the words of the Constitution. If you 
hesitate for want of precedent, then do I appeal to the great 
principle »f American Institutions. If, forgetting the origin 
of the Republic, you turn away from this principle, then, in 
the name of human nature, trampled down and oppressed, 
but aroused to a just self-defense, do I nlead for the exer- 



cise of this power. Do not hearken, I pray you, to the 
propositions of Tyranny and Folly; do not be ensnared by 
that other proposition of the Senator from Illinois [Mr. 
Douglas], in which is the horrid root of Injustice and Civil 
War. But apply gladly, and at once, the True Remedy, 
wherein are Justice and Peace. 

Mr. President, an immense space has been traversed, and 
I now stand at the goal. The argument in its various parts 
is here closed. The Crime against Kansas has been dis- 
played in its origin and extent, beginning with the over- 
throw of the Prohibition of Slavery; next cropping out in 
conspiracy on the borders of Missouri, then hardening into 
a continuity of outrage, through organized invasions and 
miscellaneous assaults, in which all security was destroyed, 
and ending at last in the perfect subjugation of a generous 
people to an unprecedented Usurpation. Turning aghast 
from the crime, which, like murder, seemed to confess itself 
" with most miraculous organ," we have looked with min- 
gled shame and indignation upon the four Apologies, 
whether of Tyranny, Imbecility, Absurdity, or Infamy, in 
which it lias been wrapped, marking especially the false 
testimony, congenial w th the original Crime, against the 
Emigrant Aid Company. Then were noted, in succession, 
the t"ur Remedies, whether of Tyranny — Polly — Injustice 
and Civil War — or Justice and Peace, which last bids Kan- 
sas, in conformity with past precedents and under the exi- 
gencies of the hour, in order to redeem her from Usurpation 
to take a place as a sovereign State of the Union ; and this 
is the True Remedy. If in this argument I have not unwor- 
thily vindicated Truth, then have I spoken according to my 
- ; if imperfectly, then only according to my powers. 
But there are other things, not belonging to the argument, 
which still press for utterance. 

Sir, the people of Kansas, bone of your bone, and tl 
your flesh, with the education of freemen and the rights of 
American citizens, now stand at your door. Will you send 
them away, or bid them enter? Will you push them back to 
renew their struggles with a deadly foe, or will you pre en e 
them in security and peace? Will you cast them again into 
the den of Tyranny, or will you help their despairing efforts 
to escape. These questions I put with no common Bolicitude, 
for I feel that on their just determination depend all the 
most precious interests of the Republic; and 1 perceive too 
clearly the prejudices in the way, and the accumulating 
bitterness against this distant people, now claiming their 
simple birthright, while I am bowed with mortification, as I 
recognize the President of the United States, who should 
have been a staff to the weak and a shield to the innocent, 
at the head of this strange oppression. 

At every stage, the similitude between the wrongs of 
Kansas, ami those other wrongs against which our fathers 
rose, becomes more apparent. Read the Declaration of Da- 
dependence, anil there is hardly an accusation which is 
there directed against the British Monarch, which waj not 
now be directed with increased force against the American 
President. The parallel has a fearful particularity. Qur 
fathers complained that the King had "sent hither -warms 
of officers, to harass our people, and eat out their sub- 
stance;" that he "had combined, with others, to subject us 
to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, giving /<is 
aStemt t-i th, ir arts of pretended legislation ;" that "he 
had abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his 
protection, and waging war against us;" that "he had 
excited domestic insurrection among us, and endeavored to 
bring on ti<, inhabitants of our frontier th* merciless 
savages ;" that " our repeated petitions have been answi red 
only by repeated injury." And this arraignment was aptly 
followed by the damning words, that "a Prince, whose cha- 
racter is thus marked by every act which may di fine a 
tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." And 
surely, a President who has done all these things, cannot 
be less unfit than a Prince. At every stage, the responsibi- 
lity is brought directly to him. His offence has been both 
of commission and omission. He has done that which he 
ought not to have done, and he has left undone that whicfc 
he ought to have done. By his activity the Prohibition of 
Slavery was overturned. By his failure to act, the honest 
emigrants in Kansas have been left a prey to wrong of all 
kinds. NuUwm ftagitium extitit, nisi per t e ; nullum 
Jtiiiji'iiim sine te. And now he stands forth the most con- 
spicuous enemy of that unhappy Territory. 

As the tyranny of the British King is all renewed in the 
President, so on this floor have the old indignities been 
renewed, which embittfred and fomented the troubles of our 
Fathers. The early petition of the American Congress to 
Parliament, long before any suggestion of independence, 



2D 



was opposed— like the petitions of Kansas — because that 
body " was assembled without any requisition on the part 
of the Supreme Power." Another petition from New York, 
presented, by Edmund Burke, was flatly rejected, as claiming 
rights derogatory to Parliament. Ami still another petition 

from Massachusetts liay was dismissed as " vexatious and 
scandalous," while the patriot philosopher who bore it was 
exposed to peculiar contumely. Throughout the debates, 
our fathers were made the butt of sorry jests and supercili- 
ous assumptions. And now these scenes, witli these precise 
objections, have been renewed in the American Senate. 

Willi regret, I come again upon the Senator from South 
Carolina [Mr. Bitlkr], who, omnipresent in this debate, 
overflowed with rage at the simple suggestion that Kansas 
had applied fm- admission as a State; and, with incoherent 
phrases, discharged the loose expectoration of his speech, 
now upou her representative, and then upon her people. 
There was no extravagance of the ancient Parliamentary 
debate which he did not repeat ; nor was there any possible 
deviation from truth which he did not make, with so much 
of passion, I am glad to add, as to save him from the suspi- 
cion of intentional aberration. But the Senator touches 
nothing which he does not disfigure — with error, sometimes 
of principle, sometimes of fact. He shows an incapacity of 
accuracy, whether in stating the Constitution or in stating 
the law, whether in the details of statistics or the diversions 
of scholarship. He cannot ope his mouth, but out there 
flies a blunder. Surely he ought to be familiar with the life 
of Franklin ; and yet he referred to his household character, 
while acting as agent of our fathers in England, as above 
suspicion: and this was done that he might give point to a 
false contrast with the agent of Kansas — not knowing that, 
however they may differ in genius and fame, in this expe- 
rience they are alike: that Franklin, when intrusted with 
the petition of Massachusetts Bay, was assaulted by a foul- 
mouthed speaker, where he could not be heard in defense, 
and denounced as a " thief," even as the agent of Kansas 
has been assaulted on this floor, and denounced as a 
" forger." And let not the vanity of the Senator be inspired 
by the parallel with the British statesmen of that day; for 
it is only in hostility to Freedom that any parallel can be 
recognized. 

But it is against the people of Kansas that the sensibilities 
of the Senator are particularly aroused. Coming, as he 
announces, "from a State" — ay, sir, from South Carolina — 
he turns with lordly disgust from this newly-formed commu- 
nity, which he will not recognize even as " a body-politic." 
Pray, sir, by what title does he indulge in this egotism ? 
Has he read the history of "the State " which he represents? 
He cannot surely have forgotten its shameful imbecility from 
Slavery, confessed throughout the revolution, followed by 
its more shameful assumptions for Slavery since. He can- 
not have forgotten its wretched persistence in the slave 
trade as the very apple of its eye, and the condition of its 
participation in the Union. He cannot have forgotten its 
Constitution, winch is republican only in name, confirming 
power in the hands of the few, and founding the qualifica- 
tions of its legislators on "a settled freehold estate and ten 
negroes." And yet the Senator, to whom that " State " has 
in part committed the guardianship of its good name, in- 
stead of moving, with backward treading steps, to cover its 
nakedness, rushes forward in the very ecstasy of madness, 
to expose it by provoking a comparison with Kansas. 
South Carolina, is old; Kansas is young. South Carolina 
counts by centuries, where Kansas counts by years. But a 
beneficent example may be born in a day; and I venture to 
say, that against the two centuries of the older " State," 
may be already set the two years of trial, evolving corre- 
sponding virtue, in the younger community. In the one is 
the long wail of Slavery ; in the other, the hymns of Free- 
dom. And if we glance at special achievements, it will be 
difficult to find anything in the history of South Carolina 
which presents so much of heroic spirit in an heroic cause 
as appears in that repulse of the Missouri invaders by the 
beleaguered town of Lawrence, where even the women gave 
their effective efforts to Freedom. The matrons of Rome, 
who poured their jewels into the treasury for the public de- 
fense — the wives of Prussia, who, with delicate fingers, 
clothed their defenders against French invasion — the 
mothers of our own Revolution, who sent forth their sons, 
covered over with prayers and blessings, to combat for 
human rights, did nothing of self-sacrifice truer than did 
these women on this occasion. AVere the whole history of 
South Carolina blotted out of existence, from its very be- 
ginning down to the day of the last election of the Senator 
to his present seat on this floor, civilization might lose — I do 
not say how little, but surely less than it has already gained 



by the example of Kansas, in Its valiant struggle against 
oppression, and in the development of a new science of emi- 
gration. Already in Lawrence alone there are newspapera 
and schools, including a High School, and throughout thin 
infant Territory there is more mature scholarship far, in 
proportion to its inhabitants, than in all South Carolina. 
Ah, sir, I tell the Senator that Kansas, welcomed as a free 
State, will be a "ministering angel" to the Republic, when 
South Carolina, in the cloak of darkness which she hugs, 
" lies howling." 

The Senator from Illinois [Mr. Douglas], naturally joins 
the Senator from South Carolina in this warfare, and gives 
to it the superior intensity of his nature. He thinks that 
the National Government has not completely proved its 
power, as it has never hanged a traitor ; but, if the occasion 
requires, he hopes there will be no hesitation ; and this 
threat is directed at Kansas, and even at the friends of 
Kansas throughout the country. Again occurs the parallel 
with the struggles of our Fathers, and I borrow the lan- 
guage of Patrick Henry, when, to the cry from the Senator, 
of " treason," " treason," I reply, " if this be treason, make 
the most of it." Sir, it is easy to call names; but I beg to 
tell the Senator that if the word " traitor " is in any way 
applicable to those who refuse submission to a tyrannical 
Usurpation, whether in Kansas or elsewhere, then must 
some new word, of deeper color, be invented, to designate 
those mad spirits who would endanger and degrade the 
Republic, while they betray all the cherished sentiments of 
the Fathers and the spirit of the Constitution, in order to 
give new spread to slavery. Let the Senator proceed. It 
will not he the first time in history, that a scaffold erected 
for punishment has become a pedestal of honor. Out of 
death comes life, and the "traitor" whom he blindly 
executes will live immortal in the cause. 

" For Humanity sweeps onward ; where to-day the martyr 

stands, 
On the morrow crouches Judas, with the silver in his 

hands ; 
While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return, 
To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn." 

Among these hostile Senators, there is yet another, with 
all the prejudices of the Senator from South Carolina, but 
without his generous impulses, who, on account of his 
character before the country, and the rancor of his opposi- 
tion, deserves to be named. I mean the Senator from Vir- 
ginia, [Mr. Mason] who, as the author of the Fugitive 
Slave Bill, has associated himself with a special act of 
inhumanity and tyranny. Of him I shall say little, for he 
has said little in this debate, though within that little was 
compressed the bitterness of a life absorbed in the support 
of Slavery. He holds the commission of Virginia ; but he 
does not represent that early Virginia, so dear to our 
hearts, which gave to us the pen of Jefferson, by which the 
equality of men was declared, and the sword of Washing- 
ton, by which Independence was secured ; but he repre- 
sents that other Virginia, from which Washington and 
Jefferson now avert their faces, where human beings are 
bred as cattle for the shambles, and where a dungeon 
rewards the pious matron who teaches little children to 
relieve their bondage by reading the Book of Life. It is 
proper that such a Senator, representing such a State, 
should rail against free Kansas. 

But this is not all. The precedent is still more clinching. 
Thus far I have followed exclusively the public documents 
laid before Congress, and illustrated by the debates of that 
body ; but well-authenticated facts, not of record here, 
make the case stronger still. It is sometimes said that the 
proceedings in Kansas are defective, because they origin- 
ated in a party. This is not true ; but even if it were true, 
then would they still find support in the example of Michi- 
gan, where all the proceedings, stretching through success- 
ive years, began and ended in party. The proposed State 
Government was pressed byjhe Democrats as a party 
test; all who did not embark in it were denounced. Of the 
Legislative Council, which called the first Constitutional 
Convention in 1835, all were Democrats; and in the Con- 
vention itself, composed of eighty-seven members, only 
seven were Whigs. The Convention of 1836, which gave 
the final assent, originated in a Democratic Convention on 
the 29th October, in the county of Wayne, composed of one 
hundred and twenty-four delegates, all Democrats, who 
proceeded to resolve; — 

" That the delegates of the Democratic party of Wayne, 



30 



solemnly impressed with the spreading evils and dangers 
which a refusal to go into the Union has brought upon the 
people of Michigan, earnestly recommend meetings to be 
immediately convened by their fellow-citizens in every 
county of the State, with a view to the expression of their 
sentiments in favor of the election and call of another Con- 
vention, in time to secure our admission into the Union be- 
fore the first of January next." 

Shortly afterwards, a committee of five, appointed by 
this Convention, all leading Democrats, issued a circular, 
"under the authority of the delegates of the county of 
■Wayne," recommending that the voters throughout Michi- 
gan should meet and elect delegates to a Convention to 
give the necessary assent to the Act of Congress. In pur- 
suance of this call, the Convention met; and, as it origin- 
ated in an exclusively party recommendation, so it was of 
an exclusively party character. And it was the action of 
this Convention that was submitted to Congress, and, after 
discussion in both bodies, in solemn votes, approved. 

But the precedent of Michigan has another feature, which 
Js entitled to the gravest attention, especially at this 
moment, when citizens engaged in the effort to establish a 
State Government in Kansas are openly arrested on the 
charge of treason, and we are startled by tidings of the 
maddest efforts to press this procedure of preposterous 
Tyranny. No such madness prevailed under Andrew 
Jackson ; although, during the long pendency of the Michi- 
gan proceedings, for more than fourteen mouths, the 
Territorial Government was entirely ousted, and the State 
Government organised in all its departments. One hun- 
dred and thirty different legislative acts were passed, pro- 
viding for elections, imposing taxes, erecting corporations, 
and establishing courts of justice ; including a Supreme 
Court and a Court of Chancery. All process was issued in 
the name of the people of the State of Michigan. And yet 
no attempt was made to question the legal validity of these 
proceedings, whether legislative or judicial. Least of all j 
did any menial Governor, dressed in a little brief authority 
play the fantastic tricks which we now witness in Kansas ; 
nor did any person, wearing the robes of justice, shock high 
Heaven with the mockery of injustice now enacted bj 
emissaries of the President in that Territory. No, sir ; 
nothing of this kind then occHrred. Andrew Jackson was 
President. 

Senators such as these are the natural enemies of Kansas, 
and I introduce them with reluctance, simply thut the 
country may understand the character of the hostility 
which must be overcome. Arrayed with them, of 
are all who unite, under any pretext or apology, in the pro- 
pagandism of Human Slavery. To such, indeed, the time- 
honored safeguards of popular rights can be a name only, 
and nothing more. What are trial by jury, habeas corpus, 
the ballot-box, the right of petition, the liberty of Kansas, 
your liberty, sir, or mine, to one who lends himself, not 
merely to the support at home, but to the propagandist) 
abroad, of that preposterous wrong, which denies even the 
right of a man to himself? Such a cause can be main- 
tained only by a practical subversion of all rights. It is, 
therefore, merely according to reason that its partisans 
should uphold the Usurpation in Kansas. 

To overthrow this Usurpation is now the special, impor- 
tunate duty of Congress, admitting of no hesitation or post- 
ponement. To this end it must lift itself from the cabals of 
candidates, the machinations of party, and the low level of 
culgar strife. It must turn from that Slave Oligarchy 
which now controls the Republic, and refuse to be its tool. 
Let its power be stretched forth towards this distant Terri- 
tory, not to bind, but to unbind; not for the oppression of 
the weak, but the subversion of the tyrannical ; not for the 
prop and maintenance of a revolting Usurpation, but for 
the confirmation of Liberty. 

" These are imperial arts, and worthy thee !" 

Let it now take its stand between the living and dead, and 
cause this plague to be stayed. All this it can do ; and if 
the interests of Slavery did not oppose, all this it would do 
at once, in reverent regard for justice, law, and order, 
driving far away all the alarms of war ; nor would it dare 
to brave the shame and punishment of this Great Refusal. 
But the Slave Power dares anything; and it can be con- 
quered only by the united masses of the People. From 
Congress to the People, I appeal. 

Already Public Opinion gathers unwonted forces to 
scourge the aggressors. In the press, in daily conversation, 



wherever two or three are gathered together, there the in- 
dignant utterance finds vent. And trade, by unerring in- 
dications, attests the growing energy. Public credit in 
Missouri droops. The six per cents, of that State, which at 
par should be 102, have sunk to 84i£ — thus at once com- 
pleting the evidence of Crime, and attesting its punishment. 
Business is now turning from the Assassins and Thugs, that 
infest the Missouri River, on the way to Kansas, to seek 
some safer avenue. And this, though not unimportant in 
itself, is typical of greater changes. The political credit of 
the men who uphold the Usurpation, droops even more than 
the stocks; and the people are turning from all those 
through whom the Assassins and Thugs have derived their 
disgraceful immunity. 

It was said of old, " Cursed be he that removeth his neigh- 
bor's Landmark. And all the people shall nay. Amen." — 
{Dent, xxvil., 17.) Cursed, it is said, in the city and in the 
field ; cursed in basket and store ; cursed when thou comest 
in, and cursed when thou goest out. These are terrible fm- 
precations; but if ever any Landmark was sacred, it was 
that by which an immense territory was guarded forever 
against Slavery; and if ever such imprecations could 
justly descend upon any one, they must descend now upon 
all who, not content with the removal of this sacred Land- 
mark, have since, with criminal complicity, fostered the 
incursions of the great Wrong against which it was intended 
to guard. But I utter no imprecations. These are not my 
words; nor is it my part to add or subtract from them. 
But thanks be to God ! they find a response in the hearts of 
an aroused People, making them turn from every man, 
whether President or Senator, or Representative, who has 
been engaged in this Crime — especially from those who, 
cradled in free institutions, are without the apology of edu- 
cation or social prejudice — until of all such those other 
words of the prophet shall be fulfilled — "I will set my face 
against that man, and make him a sign and a proverb, and 
1 will cut him off from the midst of my people." — (Ezekiel 
xiv., 8.) Turning thus from the authors of this Crime, the 
People will unite once more with their Fathers of the Repub- 
lic, in a just condemnation of Slavery — determined espe- 
cially that it shall find no home in the National Territories 
— while the Slave Power, in which the Crime had its begin- 
ning, and by which it is now sustained, will be swept into 
■!. ii atalogue of departed Tyrannies. 

In this contest, Kansas bravely stands forth— the stripling 
leader, clad in the panoply of American institutions. In 
calmly meeting and adopting a frame of Government, her 
people have with intuitive promptitude performed the duties 
of freemen; and when I consider the difficulties by which 
she was beset, I find dignity in her attitude. In offering 
hersell for admission into the Union as a Frke State, she 
presents a single issue for the people to decide. And since 
the Slave Power now stakes on this issue all its ill-gotten 
supremacy, the People, while vindicating Kansas, will at 
the same time overthrow this Tyranny. Thus does the 
contest which she now begins, involve not only Liberty for 
herself, but for the whole country. God be praised, that 
-h. did not bend ignobly beneath the yoke ! Faraway on 
the prairies, she is now battling for the Liberty of all, 
against the President, who misrepresents all. Everywhere 
among those who are not insensible to Right, the generous 
struggle meets a generous response. From innumerable 
throbbing hearts go forth the very words of encouragement 
which, in the sorrowful days of our Fathers, were sent by 
Virginia, speaking by the pen of Richard Henry Lee, to 
Massachusetts, in the person of her popular tribune, Samuel 
Adams : 

" Chantillt (Va), June 1%d, 1774- 

"I hope the good people of Boston will not lose their 
spirits under their present heavy oppression, for they will 

certainly be supported by the other Colonies ; and the cause 
for which they suffer is so glorious and so deeply interesting 
to the present and future generations, that all America will 
owe, in a great measure, their political salvation to the pre- 
sent virtue of Massachusetts Bay."— American Archives, 
4th series, vol. 1, p. 446. 

In alb this sympathy there Is strength. But in the cans--) 
itself there is angelic power. Unseen of men, the great 
spirits of History combat by the side of the people of Kan- 
sas, breathing a divine courage. Above all towers the ma- 
jestic form of Washington once more, as on the bloody field, 
bidding them to remember those rights of Human Nature 
for which the War of Independence was waged. Such a 
cause, thus sustained, is invincible. 



31 



The contest, which, beginning in Kanfas, lias reached us 
will soon be transferred from Congress to a broader stage, 

where every citi«en will be not only spectator, but actor; 

and to their judgment I confidently appeal. To the People, 
now on the eve of exercising the electoral franchise, in 
choosing a Chief Magistrate of the Republic. I appeal, to 
Vindicate the electoral franchise in Kansas. Let the ballot- 
box of the Union, with multitudinous might, protect the 
ballot-box in that Territory. Let the voters everywhere, 
while rejoicing In their own rights, help to guard the equal 
rights of distant fellow-citizens; that the shrines of popular 
institutions, now desecrated, may be sanctified anew; that 
the ballot-box, now plundered, may be restored ; and that 
the cry, " I am an American citizen," may not be sent forth 



in vain against outrage of every kind. In just regard for 
free labor in that Territory, which it is Bought to blast by 
unwelcome association with slave labor; in Christian sym- 
pathy with the slave, whom it is proposed to task and sell 
there; in stern condemnation of the Crime which has been 
Consummated on that beautiful soil; in rescue of fellow- 
citizens, now subjugated to a tyrannical Usurpation; in 
dutiful respect for the early Fathers, whose inspirations are 
now ignobly thwarted; in the name of the Constitution, 
which has been outraged — of the Laws trampled down — of 
Justice banished — of Humanity degraded — of Peace des- 
troyed — of Freedom crushed to earth ; and in the name of 
the Heavenly Father, whose service is perfect Freedom, I 
make this last appeal. 



THE BJTD 



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